Dr. Peter Hotez, a professor of pediatrics and molecular virology at Baylor College of Medicine, is arguing that federal hate-crime protections may need to be extended to Dr. Anthony Fauci and other scientists “targeted by far-right extremism.”
In his July 28 paper “Mounting antiscience aggression in the United States,” Hotez writes that a “band of ultraconservative members of the US Congress and other public officials with far-right leanings are waging organized and seemingly well-coordinated attacks against prominent US biological scientists.”
With that, the professor contends in his paper that Congress “should look at expanded protection mechanisms for scientists currently targeted by far-right extremism in the United States,” citing a bill that has been introduced named the Scientific Integrity Act of 2021.
It would protect government-funded scientists “from political interference, but this needs to be extended for scientists at private research universities and institutes. Still another possibility is to extend federal hate-crime protections,” Hotez wrote.
Just out today, my latest in @PLOS @PLOSBiology discussing my perspective on a new phase of antiscience aggression in America: Targeting prominent US scientists, and why we should be concerned for the nation. https://t.co/LKriiz1C0a
— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) July 30, 2021
Hotez has become something of a media darling on CNN and other left-leaning news and radio outlets amid the pandemic. His Tweeter feed includes retweets calling the professor a “national hero” and likening him to Dr. Leonard McCoy of “Star Trek.”
Many thanks @chrislhayes for hosting me tonight @allinwithchris as I break down what’s working and what’s working not as well with our COVID19 vaccines vs delta variant pic.twitter.com/rJ73nLEx5n
— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) July 31, 2021
Other Hotez retweets talk of him fighting against misinformation from “Fox News” and being brave in the face of threats he has received.
“For researchers working in the pandemic response to continue to do so effectively, we seek help in halting the aggression. This is essential not only for our personal safety or national security, but also the reality that attacking science and scientists will both promote illness and cause loss of life,” Hotez wrote in his paper.
Apparently even conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has given his stamp of approval of Hotez as being a very reliable source during the pandemic.
The National Pulse reports Hotez has been funded by Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1993.
A graphic from Hotez’s paper aims to illustrate what he contends is the link between critiquing the government’s COVID policies and “America First” proponents.
Summarizing his “antiscience aggression” paper, the Pulse highlights that Hotez:
… links the alleged assault of scientists to a broader attempt of supporters of the “America First” movement to bring about a “modern day authoritarian regime.”
… Hotez even draws comparisons to the intentions of the Trump administration and its “America First” allies to those of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Marxists and Leninists.
… Hotez calls for a public statement in defense of Fauci and other COVID-19 scientists from “President of the United States together with science leaders at the federal agencies,” and even floats that “another possibility is to extend federal hate-crime protections.”
The July 28th paper also highlights the actions of individuals including Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who introduced the “Fire Fauci” act, and other House Republicans tracing COVID-19’s origins to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.