FACT CHECK: Did Marco Rubio Accuse Anthony Fauci Of A ‘Fake Data Crime’?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purports Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio allegedly accused former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci of a “fake data crime.”

Verdict: False

The caption is unrelated to the video. The over 11-minute video shows Rubio questioning Fauci during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, and at no point does he accuse Fauci of a “fake data crime.”

Fact Check:

Rubio introduced a bipartisan ban on the social media app TikTok over concerns the platform could be used to spy on Americans last month, Forbes reported. The Florida Republican senator is also set to release a book in June 2023, according to Fox News.

The Facebook video, liked over 600 times, purports Rubio allegedly accused Fauci of manipulating data. “Watch 𝐑𝐮𝐛𝐢𝐨 𝐄𝐍𝐃𝐒 𝐅𝐚𝐮𝐜𝐢’𝐬 career with 𝐁𝟎𝐌𝐁𝐒𝐇𝐄𝐋𝐋 𝐟.𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐚 𝐜𝐫.𝐢𝐦𝐞 after 𝐑𝐈𝐃𝐈𝐂𝐔𝐋𝐎𝐔𝐒 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐲 begging 𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐞,” the video’s caption reads.

The claim is false. There are no credible news reports suggesting Rubio made such an accusation. Likewise, the claim neither appears on Rubio’s website nor his verified social media accounts. In addition, the NIH has not publicly commented on the claim.

The over 11-minute video shows Rubio questioning Fauci during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies hearing focused on a 2023 budget request for the NIH. (RELATED: Did Ted Cruz Tell Merrick Garland That Dr. Fauci Should Be ‘Locked Up’?)

In the original video, Rubio asks Fauci about COVID-19 testing requirements for U.S. citizens versus migrants entering the country. Prior to questioning Fauci, Rubio asks NIH Acting Director Dr. Lawrence Tabak about “off-label use” of puberty blockers in minors seeking gender-affirming care.

At no point does Rubio accuse Fauci of a “fake data crime.” Following Rubio and Fauci’s exchange, Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray questions Fauci and does not reference the purported claim either.

A spokesperson for Rubio declined to comment on record but directed Check Your Fact to a transcript of Rubio and Fauci’s conversation during the hearing.

This is not the first time a congressional hearing has been misinterpreted on social media. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting a recent hearing with Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan sent President Joe Biden to jail over his son, Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter

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