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Rep. Tom Cole Speaks About Fauci, Lab Leak

Rep. Tom Cole (R, 4th District) speaks with J. Stephen Morrison

Congressman Tom Cole speaks in defense of presidential medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci.


“Anthony Fauci has spent a lifetime as one of the premier experts of infectious diseases. He’s worked for multiple presidents of both parties. He’s a man of outstanding personal character and distinguished academic and institutional achievement. That’s just true.”


In a conversation with a representative from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Cole said the release of Dr. Fauci’s emails last week doesn’t prove anything, and he finds the attacks on Fauci counterproductive in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. 


“Vilifying people that are operating in good faith that have careers that are distinguished is not helpful. Most of the people I see doing this, quite frankly, are not people who voted for us to have the resources to deal with this in the first place.”


One of the reasons Dr. Fauci has been criticized is because he raised questions about a lab origin for COVID-19 after saying he thought the virus emerged naturally through animal-to-human transmission.


Once dismissed by most public health experts and government officials, the lab origin theory is in the spotlight again since President Biden ordered a 90-day review of the theory on May 26th. 


One document receiving more attention is a fact sheet published by President Trump’s administration on January 15th, 2021. 


Cole echoed the document’s criticisms of China. 


“The Chinese have been very bad actors,” said Cole. “They’ve not opened up everything, they’ve not revealed everything they know, they’ve stonewalled from the beginning.”


Other experts have noted that the climate around COVID-19 origin is highly politicized, making it unlikely that China will comply with investigation efforts.


He worried the conflict demeans the World Health Organization. 


“That’s a huge loss. That undermines the credibility of an institution that we really need. There needs to be a World Health Organization, but it needs to be something everybody believes is above being manipulated, whose only objective is the protection of human health.” 


Cole also called for a vaccination education campaign to end vaccination hesitancy.


“We probably need to have a public education program comparable of what we do with tobacco. This is something we’re going to have to work at over time. We’re going to have to make our population more comfortable.”


The full conversation is available here.