Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio took aim at Doctor Anthony Fauci on Sunday morning after the Christmas Eve revelation that Fauci has “slowly but deliberately been moving the goal posts” when talking about the percent of Americans that must become immune to COVID-19 in order to gain herd immunity.

Dr. Fauci has done this in part based on his own “gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks.”

In other words, Dr. Fauci has been intentionally deceiving the American people throughout the pandemic. For their own good, of course.

As reported by The New York Times, “In the pandemic’s early days, Dr. Fauci tended to cite the same 60 to 70 percent estimate that most experts did. About a month ago, he began saying ‘70, 75 percent’ in television interviews. And last week, in an interview with CNBC News, he said ‘75, 80, 85 percent’ and ‘75 to 80-plus percent.’”

According to The New York Times, in a telephone interview, Fauci acknowledged that he had been fudging the numbers.

“When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent,” Dr. Fauci told The NYT. “Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.”

“We need to have some humility here. We really don’t know what the real number is. I think the real range is somewhere between 70 to 90 percent. But I’m not going to say 90 percent,” Dr. Fauci concluded.

Johns Hopkins University notes that herd immunity occurs “when most of a population is immune to an infectious disease.” This is achieved if “a large proportion of the population either gets infected or gets a protective vaccine.”

Speaking to CNN’s Dana Bash, Dr. Facui tried to explain his quote in The NYT. Asked by Bash whether he adjusted the herd immunity numbers based on polling, Facui said, “It’s a bit of that. I want to encourage the people of the United States and globally to get vaccinated… The bottom line is, it’s a guesstimate, I gave a range.”

Senator Rubio fired back at Doctor Fauci on Sunday.

“Dr. Fauci lied about masks in March. Dr. Fauci has been distorting the level of vaccination needed for herd immunity,” Senator Rubio wrote on Twitter. “It isn’t just him. Many in elite bubbles believe the American public doesn’t know ‘what’s good for them’ so they need to be tricked into ‘doing the right thing.’”

Many Americans are likely outraged that after being told for months to “follow the science,” the nation’s lead public health expert has deliberately chosen not to relay the science. Rather, Fauci has told the American people what he thinks they are “ready to hear.”

Most Americans probably just want to hear the truth. But in 2020, they cannot even get that from the nation’s top immunologist during this serious pandemic.

You can follow this author on Twitter @MettlerZachary