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Dr. Fauci testifies that only 'a little bit more than half' of NIH employees have been vaccinated

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At the hearing last week during which U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) grilled Dr. Anthony Fauci over "gain of function research" in relation to the COVID-19 virus, another rather eye-opening exchange took place but wasn't widely reported.

What are the details?

Toward the end of the nearly three-hour hearing last Tuesday before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, ranking member U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) asked Fauci what percentage of employees at the National Institutes of Health have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

"What percentage of the employees in your institute ... has been vaccinated?" Burr asked.

Fauci replied, "You know, I'm not 100% sure, senator, but I think it's probably a little bit more than half — probably around 60%."

Burr asked the same question of Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration.

Marks replied, "I can't tell you the exact number, but it's probably in the same range — some people vaccinated at our facility and others ... outside of the facility."

Walensky told Burr that at the CDC, "we're encouraging our employees to get vaccinated, we've been doing town halls and education seminars ... our staff have the option to report their vaccination status, but as you understand, the federal government is not requiring it, so we do not know."

Uh oh

With that, Burr mildly scolded the trio sitting before him: "Listen, you're the face of why people should get vaccinated. And knowing and promoting and confidently giving numbers, percentages. ... Imagine being the parent of a school-age kid who for generations has been required to have their kids vaccinated before they could start school? And the fact that even within our health organizations we can't require that of people ... we're gonna have tough decisions to make."

Burr soon warned Fauci, Marks, and Walensky that "if we're gonna get that last mile coverage, we're gonna have to start portraying that we're willing to do to ourselves what we're asking the American people to do."

WATCH LIVE: Fauci, federal health officials testify about ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19 youtu.be

Anything else?

The momentous Q&A moment came in the wake of recent headline-grabbing statements from those in the public eye who've declared that unvaccinated people should be shunned.

Sunny Hostin of "The View" earlier this month ripped into Americans who've indicated they won't get the COVID-19 vaccine by saying we should "shun" them — and the co-host specifically called out "white evangelicals" and "Republicans."

"When you look at the folks that are not getting vaccinated — because it's a quarter of Americans that aren't getting vaccinated — white evangelicals: 45% say they won't get vaccinated according to ... Pew Research ... almost 50% of Republicans are refusing to get the vaccine," Hostin said. "So we won't reach herd immunity because of those particular groups."

She then added, "So I say we need to shun those that refuse to get vaccinated."

A few days before Hostin's nationally televised takedown, USA Today published an op-ed by a far-left former Justice Department prosecutor titled, "It's time to start shunning the 'vaccine hesitant.' They're blocking COVID herd immunity."

Michael J. Stern wrote that "businesses should make vaccination a requirement for employment" and that "things should get personal, too: People should require friends to be vaccinated to attend the barbecues and birthday parties they host. Friends don't let friends spread the coronavirus."

One wonders if Hostin or Stern would utter their venom to the faces of Fauci, Marks, and Walensky — or in front of the still-unvaccinated employees of the NIH, CDC, or FDA.

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