Marjorie Taylor Greene tries to rally HIV activists in latest rant, despite past HIV-phobic comments

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 11: U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) listens to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speak at a news conference with fellow House Republicans after passing H.R.2 - the Secure the Border Act of 2023 at the Capitol, May 11, 2023 in Washington, DC. The Republican-led bill increases spending for security at the southern border through the hiring of additional Border Patrol agents, upgrading existing technology and resuming construction of the southern border wall. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Far-right US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is trying to rally HIV activists and turn them against Dr Anthony Fauci in her latest social media rampage.

Greene launched into an attack against the infectious disease expert, who was the face of the US government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, on Sunday (7 January).

In a post to X (formerly Twitter), Greene ranted: “Dr Fauci is coming in tomorrow to our COVID committee for a transcribed interview.

“He owes answers about his role in gain of function, COVID lockdowns, COVID vaxxes, and how much money he made from vaccines.

Marjorie Taylor Greene's anti-trans speech
Marjorie Taylor Greene has tried to rally HIV activists against Dr Fauci. (X/Marjorie Taylor Greene)

“He also should answer to AIDS activists and these poor beagles.”

Fauci, who was the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden, is often attacked by more conservative politicians for his advice to wear face masks, practice social distancing, and take the FDA-approved Covid-19 vaccine.

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Throughout the pandemic, Fauci and his family were heavily targetted by right-wing pundits, to the point that it became a security risk. 

While Greene might still be able to rally anti-vaxxers against Fauci, her attempt to get HIV activists on her side is rather ironic, considering her long history of anti-LGBTQ+ and HIV-phobic comments.

Fauci was a key player in steering the US through the AIDS crisis in the 80s and took the intiative that many government higher-ups wouldn’t in order to protect the LGBTQ+ population.

He also led the creation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which is responsible for saving more than 25 million lives in the developing world, according to the US Department of State.

PEPFAR has played a key role in saving millions of lives since it was first introduced in 2003, but risked coming to an abrupt end last year when far-right Republicans threatened to shut down the government if their demands weren’t met – a threat that was heavily vocalised by, you guessed it, Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Dr Anthony Fauci sits at a table during a public health meeting
Greene and other far-right politicians have had it out for Dr Anthony Fauci since the Covid-19 pandemic. (Getty/Al Drago-Pool)

If that wasn’t enough evidence that Greene doesn’t truly care about AIDS activists, perhaps her history of HIV-phobic comments is.

In 2021, the conspiracy theorist took to social media to complain about the NBA’s ruling that basketball player Kyrie Irving could not compete unless he took the Covid-19 vaccine. She then distastefully compared it to the NBA allowing HIV-positive player Magic Johnson to compete.

“The fascist NBA won’t let Kyrie Irving play for refusing a vaccine. But yet they still let Magic Johnson play with HIV,” she wrote at the time.

Obviously, the main issue with Greene’s misguided tweet is that HIV and Covid-19 are wildly different. While Covid-19 is a respiratory virus that can be passed on through airborne droplets, HIV is sexually transmitted and can become undetectable and untransmittable if HIV+ people take ART.

Unfortunately, Greene’s comment likely furthered discriminatory stigmas surrounding HIV/AIDS.

Still, this isn’t Greene’s first attempt to rally AIDS activists against Dr Fauci.

Last year, the US Rep reposted a tweet that read: “Did you know gay liberal activists stormed the NIH in 1990? They blamed Dr Anthony Fauci for blocking cheap and effective AIDS treatments and for only promoting expensive and toxic drugs that benefited Big Pharma. Fauci did the exact same thing in COVID-19.”

Marjorie has publicly made HIV-phobic comments in the past. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Greene commented: “I was 16 yrs old in 1990 and did not know this.”

The problem with this attempt to get AIDS activists on her side is that – while the storming of the NIH did happen – Dr Fauci was wrongfully made the face of the lack of public AIDS treatment.

While Dr Fauci was a key figure in researching AIDS and provided public information on how to prevent the virus’s spread, he could only operate at the will of President Reagan’s administration, who appeared disinterested in the epidemic.

Activists who stormed the NIH in 1990 were furious with Fauci, believing that he was blocking clinical trials and therefore causing more AIDS deaths. But, in truth, Fauci had no control of how quickly the process moved along.

Speaking about the backlash he was subject to in the 2021 documentary Fauci, the infectious diseases expert recalled: “Activists are mistaken when they assume that scientists do not care about them.

“This is devastating to a physician-scientist who has devoted years to AIDS research, particularly when they themselves see so many of their own patients suffering and dying.”

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