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Fauci admits that COVID six-feet social distancing guidelines ‘sort of just appeared,’ likely lacked scientific basis

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 8: Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), arrives for a closed-door interview with the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic at the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2024 in Washington, DC. Fauci is expected to face questioning about the origins of COVID-19, vaccine mandates and how to prevent future pandemics. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX *** *** BESTPIX *** Anthony Fauci Returns To Capitol Hill For House Interview On COVID

Dr. Anthony Fauci confessed to lawmakers Tuesday that guidelines to keep six feet of separation — ostensibly to limit the spread of COVID-19 — “sort of just appeared” without scientific input.

Fauci, 83, revealed to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic that the “six feet apart” recommendation championed by him and other US public health officials was “likely not based on scientific data,” according to Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), who is also a physician.

Schools nationwide remained closed well into the second year of the pandemic as a result of the social distancing guidelines, which were disputed by both research studies and other health officials.

“It never struck me that six feet was particularly sensical in the context of mitigation,” Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health who served as President Biden’s COVID response coordinator for 15 months, told the New York Times in March 2021. “I wish the CDC would just come out and say this is not a major issue.”

Asked about a study in Massachusetts schools that found just three feet of distance between students resulted in “similar” COVID case rates, Fauci said the same month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was “very carefully” reviewing the data and would “likely” update them.

A top White House adviser to two presidential administration, Fauci’s transcribed interview before the House COVID panel “revealed systemic failures in our public health system and shed light on serious procedural concerns with our public health authority,” according to Wenstrup.

Those “failures” included foisting vaccination mandates on schools and businesses.

“After two days of testimony and 14 hours of questioning, many things became evident. During his interview today, Dr. Fauci claimed that the policies and mandates he promoted may unfortunately increase vaccine hesitancy for years to come,” Wenstrup said.

“It is clear that dissenting opinions were often not considered or suppressed completely. Should a future pandemic arise, America’s response must be guided by scientific facts and conclusive data.”

Wenstrup also said committee members “remain frustrated with Dr. Fauci’s inability to recollect COVID-19 information that is important for our investigation,” while “others we have spoken to do recall the facts.”

Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas), who sits on the panel, said Tuesday night that Fauci had showed an “amazing ability to either forget what happened or then to find ways to shirk any sort of responsibility for the influence that was had,” during the two-day affair.

​​“They wash their hands of any sort of responsibility, saying, ‘Oh, those decisions were made by school districts.’ But the school districts know, if you don’t follow the guidance that’s coming out of the federal government, you open yourselves up to lawsuits,” Cloud said of Fauci and other US pandemic response officials.

“He says he’s still not convinced that there was learning loss — that in his view, that’s still really open for discussion,” Cloud also told The Post. “I think [if] you ask any parent, they’ll tell you it was a major hit on their child’s development.”

​​“They wash their hands of any sort of responsibility, saying, ‘Oh, those decisions were made by school districts.’ But the school districts know, if you don’t follow the guidance that’s coming out of the federal government, you open yourselves up to lawsuits,” Cloud said of Fauci and other US pandemic response officials.

Republican staff members said the former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director also “admitted that America’s vaccine mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic could increase vaccine hesitancy in the future” but that he advised US colleges “to impose vaccine mandates on their students” during the pandemic.

In 2021, Fauci had also said it was “proven that when you make it difficult for people in their lives, they lose their ideological bulls–t, and they get vaccinated.”

The COVID select subcommittee will hear further testimony from Fauci in a public hearing later this year.

Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), a doctor and the top Democrat on the subcommittee, dismissed the majority’s interview with Fauci in a statement as an “extreme fishing expedition,” calling on Republicans “to make the full transcript” available to the public.

The ranking member did not attend Monday’s transcribed interview with Fauci but showed up for the second day of questioning.

Wenstrup told reporters that the full transcripts of the interview with Fauci will be released once they are reviewed by majority and minority staff.

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