Dr. Anthony Fauci responded with incredulity on Sunday to Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) claiming that the coronavirus pandemic has been “overhyped.”

Republicans have been targeting Fauci in a desperate effort to scapegoat him for the pandemic even though Donald Trump and the Republican Party refused to take the threat seriously and allowed the virus to sweep the nation. Trump even admitted in a recording that he downplayed the virus despite knowing how dangerous and deadly it is.

During a Fox News interview, Johnson, who has been one of the top deniers of science in the GOP, accused Fauci of overhyping the coronavirus pandemic and claimed that Fauci overhyped the HIV pandemic in the 1980s.

“Fauci did the exact same thing with AIDS. He overhyped it. He created all kinds of fear, saying it could affect the entire population when it couldn’t. And he’s doing, he’s using the exact same playbook with COVID, ignoring therapy, pushing a vaccine,” Johnson said.

Of course, the vaccine prevents people from contracting the virus or at least gives people a better chance at surviving it. The most recent explosion in coronavirus cases occurred among unvaccinated people. Not everyone can afford the kind of therapies Johnson is hawking, while the vaccine is free for anyone who wants one.

CNN anchor Jake Tapper called out Johnson’s lie before giving Fauci the opportunity to respond.

“Obviously, that’s a bizarre and false assertion. President George W. Bush gave you the Presidential Medal of Freedom because of your leadership in the AIDS crisis. I did want to give you an opportunity to respond,” Tapper said.

“How do you respond to something as preposterous as that? Over-hyping AIDS? It killed over 750,000 Americans, 36 million people worldwide. How do you overhype that?” Fauci said. “Over-hyping Covid? It killed 780,000 Americans and over 5 million people worldwide. I don’t have any clue of what he is talking about.”

Here’s the video via YouTube:

In fact, the United States has the highest death toll from coronavirus in the world because Republicans have repeatedly downplayed the virus by referring to it as a “hoax” and by spouting anti-vaccine and anti-mask rhetoric. Every death from coronavirus in this country is on the GOP. If they were in charge, even more Americans would be dead right now.

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