The crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas cheered against COVID-19 vaccinations, drawing concern from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.
“It’s horrifying,” Fauci told CNN in an interview Sunday. “They’re cheering about someone saying that it’s a good thing for people not to try and save their lives.”
The three-day CPAC conference, headlined by dozens of the biggest names in Republican politics and conservative activism, has seen speakers take aim at issues ranging from cancel culture, to ‘wokeness,’ to vaccinations and more.
On day two of the conference, Saturday, journalist and writer Alex Berenson -- an outspoken anti-vaccination advocate -- discussed a lack of vaccinations in the U.S., earning cheers from the crowd.
“(The government) was hoping they could sort of sucker 90 percent of the population into getting vaccinated, and it isn’t happening,” he said.
Other speakers also attacked vaccines, and Fauci, including Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, who painted America’s vaccination initiatives as governmental overreach.
“We’re here to tell government … don’t come knocking on my door with your Fauci ouchie,” Boebert said.
On day one of CPAC, Texas Congressman Ronny Jackson tweeted “it’s time for Fauci to go.”
“He’s the highest paid government employee and he works around the clock to keep you LOCKED DOWN! FIRE FAUCI!,” Jackson wrote.
In another interview with ABC, Fauci said the fear of COVID vaccines is rooted in politics, not science.
“We’ve got to get away from the divisiveness, that has really been a problem from the very beginning,” he said. “Viruses and public health don’t know the difference between a Democrat, a Republican or an Independent.”
Roughly 48% of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as of July 10, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over 55% have received at least one dose of vaccine.