During a coronavirus subcommittee hearing in the U.S. House last week, Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio repeatedly interrupted witness Anthony Fauci, M.D., who is the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden.
Jordan went over his allotted time in questioning Fauci, pressing the doctor on liberties Americans supposedly “lost” when health officials strongly recommended face masks, social distancing and fewer large groups in efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“What metrics, what measures, what has to happen before Americans get more freedom?” Jordan asked Fauci.
Fauci explained that continuing to administer COVID-19 vaccines will help reduce the rate of infection from the current threat level, thereby speeding up the return to "normalcy."
“What measure? Are we just going to continue this forever? What objective, what outcome do we have to reach before Americans get their liberty and freedoms back?” pressed Jordan, who apparently didn’t understand that wearing masks does not prevent Americans from going about their daily business.
Exasperation began creeping into Fauci’s voice as he re-explained the situation to Jordan the way he might to a toddler in the throes of a tantrum.
“You know, you’re looking at it as ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom.’ I look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying and going to the hospital,” Fauci patiently told Jordan.
“We’re not talking about ‘liberties.’ We’re talking about a pandemic that has killed 560,000 Americans,” Fauci added later. In Jordan’s state of Ohio alone, 18,991 people have died from coronavirus since the pandemic began, and new variants of the virus are causing spikes in cases within the Buckeye State once again.
After Jordan bellowed at Fauci several more times about liberties being “assaulted” and going over his time, California Rep. Maxine Waters had had enough.
“Time expired, sir. You need to respect the chair and shut your mouth,” Waters sternly told him.
Earlier this month, Jordan said the United States was becoming a "dictatorship" because of public health measures. He also has repeatedly insisted that former U.S. President Donald Trump won the general election in November (he didn't) and has been credibly accused of looking away as Ohio State University’s team physician sexually abused members of the wrestling team for which Jordan was an assistant coach.
Watch a clip from last week's coronavirus hearing below.