Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) are teaming up on legislation to scrap the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which was led by Dr. Anthony Fauci for just shy of four decades.
NIAID is an agency that operates under the umbrella of the National Institutes of Health and seeks to develop treatments and countermeasures to infectious diseases. Under the NIH Reform Act announced Thursday, Paul and Roy are seeking to divvy up the NIAID into three separate research institutions.
“We’ve learned a lot over the past few years, but one lesson, in particular, is that no one person should be deemed ‘dictator-in-chief.’ No one person should have unilateral authority to make decisions for millions of Americans,” Paul said in a statement. “This will create accountability and oversight into a taxpayer-funded position that has largely abused its power.”
The three successor institutions to NIAID would be the National Institute of Allergic Diseases, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, and the National Institute of Immunologic Diseases. Directors of each agency must be confirmed via the Senate and would be capped at two five-year terms under the proposal.
“From the earliest days of the pandemic, unaccountable public health bureaucracies proved themselves far more adept at ruining lives than saving them. Never again should a single individual, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, wield unchecked power and influence over the lives of the American people. Breaking up Dr. Fauci’s taxpayer-funded bully pulpit into three separate agencies,” Roy said.
A press release for the NIH Reform Act likened Fauci’s tenure to that of former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who was notorious for weaponizing the FBI against political foes.
“In the aftermath of J. Edgar Hoover’s decades-long tenure as head of the FBI, Congress passed a law in 1976 limiting the FBI Director to a single 10-year term,” the release said. “Congress must enact the NIH Reform Act to ensure that one official cannot claim the unquestioned authority to dictate the governmental responses to public health questions.”
Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Josh Hawley (R-MO) co-sponsored the bill. Fauci stepped down as the head of the NIAID and as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser late last year.
The Washington Examiner contacted an NIAID representative for comment.