Raskin slams Republicans for ‘bowing to convicted felon’ Trump who told Americans to inject bleach for Covid

Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin has slammed Republicans for “bowing to convicted felon” Donald Trump after he told Americans to inject bleach to cure Covid-19 at the height of the pandemic.

Dr Anthony Fauci was called to testify before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic’s hearing on Monday, as House Republicans have sought to scrutinize his role as one of the chief faces of the federal government’s response to the pandemic.

Republicans have also baselessly floated the idea that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funded so-called gain-of-function research that led to the spread of Covid-19.

The subcommittee falls under the jurisdiction of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, which meant that Raskin, the top Democrat, was allowed to speak at the start of the hearing.

Raskin instantly defended Dr Fauci from accusations that he had orchestrated the proliferation of Covid-19 while also attacking former president Trump and Republicans who bended to his will.

Raskin said that the hearing was meant to divert attention from the Trump administration’s failures to save lives and compared it to the failure of the Oversight Committee to find wrongdoing by President Joe Biden during its bungled impeachment inquiry.

“The investigation of Dr Fauci shows he is an honorable public servant who has devoted his entire career to the public health and the public interest and he is not a comic book super villain,” he said.

Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin speaks to reporters before the House hearing on 3 June 2024 (Getty Images)
Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin speaks to reporters before the House hearing on 3 June 2024 (Getty Images)

“He did not fund research to create the Covid-19 pandemic. He did not lie to Congress about gain-of-function research in Wuhan. And he did not organize a lab leak suppression campaign.”

Raskin also referenced the fact that Dr Fauci had testified before the committee behind closed doors back in January and took aim at Trump’s now-infamous suggestion that Americans inject bleach.

“Today Dr Fauci’s testimony, along with the thousands of pages of documents and dozens of closed-door testimony provided to House Republicans as part of the Covid origins investigation will dispel these hysterical claims and reveal that the people bowing down to a twice-impeached convicted felon who told Americans to inject themselves with bleach now want you to believe not only a big political lie but a big medical lie too,” he said.

In April 2020, Trump suggested that Americans use a combination of ultraviolet light and disinfectant to treat Covid-19.

“And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute,” Trump said at the time. “One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?”

The comments were roundly criticised at the time, including by future President Joe Biden.

Raskin later added: “They are treating you, Dr Fauci, like a convicted felon,” before he alluded to the fact that a jury found Trump guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records as part of a conspiracy to influence the 2016 election results.

“Actually, you probably wish they were treating you like a convicted felon. They treat convicted felons with love and admiration. Some of them blindly worship convicted felons.”

Numerous Democrats – including Representative Kathy Castor of Florida and ranking Democrat Raul Ruiz – have also leaped to defend Dr Fauci.