Jim Jordan Started Ranting About “Lost Liberty” in the Pandemic. Dr. Fauci Wasn’t Having It.

Susan Walsh/Pool/CNP/Zuma

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.At a House coronavirus hearing on Thursday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) began berating Dr. Anthony Fauci about the liberties he believes have been restricted thanks to mask mandates and social distancing guidelines during the pandemic. Fauci was not amused.
“Dr. Fauci, over the last year, Americans’ First Amendment rights have been completely attacked,” Jordan said, his mask slipping under his nose. “Your right to go to church, your right to assemble, your right to petition your government, freedom of the press, freedom of speech have all been assaulted.”

Dr. Fauci was not having Jim Jordan’s performative denseness pic.twitter.com/bIW8T5iA7q
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 15, 2021

As an example of a limit on freedom of assembly, Jordan referenced a curfew in Ohio meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus—but he didn’t mention the curfews enacted in many cities last spring in response to protests against police violence. To Jordan, limiting the capacities of places of worship and restricting constituents’ access to their state houses constitute egregious violations of the rights to worship and to petition the government.
“I don’t look at this as a liberty thing, Congressman Jordan,” Fauci said. “I look at this as a public health thing.”

“You’re making this a personal thing, and it isn’t … my recommendations are not a personal recommendation. It is based on the CDC guidance … we’re not talking about liberties. We’re talking about a pandemic that has killed 560,000 Americans” — Fauci to Jim Jordan pic.twitter.com/Q0TzaaGlAG
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 15, 2021