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Fauci dodges question on illegal immigrants following same travel restrictions as Americans: ‘Different issue’

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White House Coronavirus Response Team Member Dr. Anthony Fauci dodged a question from Fox News Reporter Peter Doocy regarding illegal immigrants being screened for the omicron coronavirus variant at the border.

“You advised the president about the possibility of new testing requirements for people coming into this country, does that include everybody?” Doocy asked Fauci during a press conference on Wednesday as the White House is reportedly set to issue travel restrictions for American citizens in response to the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

President Biden speaks about the COVID-19 variant named omicron, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, in Washington. as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases listens. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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“The answer is yes,” Fauci said, prompting Doocy to ask if migrants crossing the southern border were included. 

“That’s a different issue,” Fauci claimed.

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Fauci explained that there is testing at the border “under certain circumstances” and cited the fact “we still have Title 42” which put into place by former President Donald Trump to mitigate the spread of coronavirus at the border.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden‘s enhanced winter COVID-19 strategy that will be announced Thursday will require every traveler entering the country, including returning U.S. citizens, to be tested one day before boarding their flight, according to the CDC. The rule will also apply to vaccinated travelers, who previously were only required to show a negative test no more than three days before their flight.

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But the Biden administration has refused to put similar requirements in place for those who illegally cross the border, claiming in September that such individuals do not intend “to stay here for a lengthy period of time.”

Fauci has faced criticism in recent days after claiming in an interview that he “represents” science.

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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 29: Anthony Fauci (R), Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to the President, speaks alongside U.S. President Joe Biden as he delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant following a meeting of the COVID-19 response team at the White House on November 29, 2021 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 29: Anthony Fauci (R), Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to the President, speaks alongside U.S. President Joe Biden as he delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant following a meeting of the COVID-19 response team at the White House on November 29, 2021 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“They’re really criticizing science because I represent science – that’s dangerous. To me, that’s more dangerous than the slings and the arrows that get thrown at me. I’m not going to be around here forever, but science is going to be here forever. And if you damage science, you are doing something very detrimental to society long after I leave. And that’s what I worry about,” Fauci told CBS’s Margaret Brennan on Sunday.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz responded to the comment by calling Fauci “the most dangerous bureaucrat” in American history.

Fox News’ Michael Lee contributed to this report

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