Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) said Thursday that President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor has fallen so far out of favor with the American people that “more people trust Dr. Pepper than Dr. Fauci.”
Kennedy joined Fox News host Harris Faulkner on “The Faulkner Focus,” and the conversation began with reports — which the Biden administration have called “inaccurate” —that the Department of Health and Human services was going to provide crack pipes in an effort to promote “equity.”
Faulkner began the segment with a comment from Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), who tweeted on Tuesday about the issue. “To be clear: @HHSGov is giving taxpayer dollars to organizations to distribute crack pipes on behalf of HHS. Just because HHS bureaucrats are not *personally* handing out the crack pipes doesn’t make this a good idea, @HHS_Spox.”
To be clear: @HHSGov is giving taxpayer dollars to organizations to distribute crack pipes on behalf of HHS.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) February 8, 2022
Kennedy agreed, adding his own take, saying that whether or not the government was directly financing or handing out crack pipes, what was clear was that the Biden administration was using COVID-19 funding to “facilitate” drug use.
“Here is what I do know. The Biden Administration has taken $30 million from their emergency COVID bill and they are using it to facilitate the smoking of crack cocaine and crystal meth. They say they can make it safer. And I say there is no way to make smoking crack cocaine or meth safer. It is like trying to put a filter on a cigarette,” Kennedy said.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and White House drug policy adviser Rahul Gupta released a statement disputing the reports as well, saying, “No federal funding will be used directly or through subsequent reimbursement of grantees to put pipes in safe smoking kits.”
Kennedy went on to say that if the administration really cared about stopping rampant drug abuse or making it “safer,” they should repurpose the COVID-19 funding and use it to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and stop at least some of the drugs from coming into the country in the first place.
“They ought to talk straight to the American people and explain, ‘Look, you are right. We got caught trying to help people, make it easier for people to smoke crack, and it was a dumb thing to do and we reversed course.”
“You know they aren’t going to do that,” Faulkner replied. “They are never going to admit that … But you are calling for complete transparency. That’s a big ask.”
Faulkner then pivoted to Democratic efforts to roll back mask mandates, and noted that some were stopping short of removing school mask mandates. “They are going to have to come up against teachers unions like in my state of New Jersey when they try to wipe away the mandates inside classrooms. I think that’s going be a harder fight for them than the CDC.”
“Yeah, I think it will, too. But it’s time for the Biden Administration. They say they stand for science. I think we have a cleaner grasp of the dangers of COVID today, particularly Omicron, and it is time for the Biden Administration to talk straight to the teachers unions and tell the American people the truth,” Kennedy concluded. “I don’t have anything against Dr. Fauci but for a variety of reasons, some of which happen to be Dr. Fauci’s own fault, the American people trust Dr. Pepper more than Dr. Fauci right now.”
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