WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci has been a political lightning rod since the early days of the pandemic, villainized by the right as a spotlight-seeking bureaucrat seeking to undermine former President Donald Trump. Since the release of a trove of Fauci’s emails this week, Republicans sense a fresh opening to escalate their criticism of the nation’s top government infectious-diseases expert. Some have accused him of misleading the American people about the origins of COVID-19 to protect the Chinese government. The attacks represent a new GOP effort to find a reliable foil in the first few months of the Biden administration, as they have struggled to turn public sentiment against the new president.
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