Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is a profoundly incompetent individual. This Friday, during a House hearing featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health as one of the witnesses, Jordan went off on a belligerent, unhinged tirade, complaining about why protests were allowed to go on while other things, like packed church services, were not. His unhinged, head-spinning rant had no relationship to Fauci’s actual job responsibilities — he’s a public health official, not a policy-maker, and across a country like the United States, there are obviously going to be differences of opinion about the best way to implement the recommendations of public health officials. Jordan preferred to just rant and rave — he wound himself up into a near-rage, repeating the same line of questioning about protests for the entirety of his roughly five minutes.
After Jordan initially asked whether protests contribute to the spread of the virus, Fauci replied:
‘Crowding together, particularly when you’re not wearing a mask, contributes to the spread of the virus.’
Jordan followed up with a question for Fauci of whether protesting should therefore be limited. The rapid-fire nature of Jordan’s questioning makes it seem like he was more concerned with making some kind of political point than he was with actually finding some meaningful information. Fauci didn’t even mention protests specifically; he mentioned mask-less crowds.
After Fauci noted that he didn’t think Jordan’s question of whether protests should be limited was “relevant,” the Congressman repeated it, without even really making eye contact with Fauci, strangely enough. Fauci subsequently said:
‘I’m not in a position to determine what the government can do in a forceful way.’
Indeed — Fauci is a public health official. He’s not a policy-maker. The Congressman seemed to fail to grasp this distinction.
Jordan subsequently yet again reiterated the question of whether protests should be limited, and Fauci yet again reiterated that he was not in a position to make that determination — or he tried to, at least. Jordan interrupted Fauci and ranted:
‘Government’s stopping people from going to church, Dr. Fauci! Last week in the Calvary Chapel case, five liberals on the Supreme Court said it was okay for Nevada to limit church services. Justice Gorsuch said it best; he said, there’s no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Cesar’s Palace over Calvary Chapel. I’m just asking, is there a world in which the Constitution says you can favor one First Amendment liberty, protesting, over another, practicing your faith?’
‘I’m not favoring anybody over anybody. I’m just making a statement that’s a broad statement that avoid crowds of any type no matter where you are because that leads to the acquisition and transmission, and I don’t judge one crowd versus another crowd. when you’re in a crowd, particularly if you’re not wearing a mask, that induces the spread.’
After Jordan — amazingly! — kept up the same line of questioning, Fauci laughed and said:
‘I don’t know how many times I can answer that. I’m not going to opine on limiting anything.’
Watch the interaction below:
Jordan would do well to be concerned about the actual policy failures that have kept lifesaving supplies like personal protective equipment from getting out to the people who need it.