For all his accomplishments in his career, Dr. Anthony Fauci sometimes comes across as an elderly and odd scientist a little too infatuated with seeing his name in the paper or face on TV.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday he is “appalled” that Fauci “lied to the American public about how many people would need to be vaccinated before a herd immunity is reached.”

Rubio has been one of the few voices of authority with the guts to actually criticize the 80-year-old infectious disease doctor, who Rubio said was “moving the goalposts” and wished to “manipulate” the behavior of the public by selectively choosing the information he publicized. Rubio wrote in a Fox News op-ed that he would not be afraid to call out “unelected celebrity scientists” like Fauci.

Rubio was referencing an interview in the New York Times in which the doctor admitted he is now deliberately changing his prediction on when herd immunity could be reached. Fauci was part of a crew that initially said 60% to 70% of Americans needed to be vaccinated for herd immunity to take effect, but now he’s nudged it up to 90%.

Rubio is not accusing Fauci of being malicious. He added, “However, let’s be clear about what he was doing: lying to the American people in order to manipulate their behavior.

“The American people deserve the truth; they also deserve accountability. When elected representatives make decisions, they can be held responsible by the public. But when public health officials with decades of experience and leadership within our nation’s institutions short-circuit the political process and make these decisions themselves, they deny the American people that same opportunity — and to change course if desired.”

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