I get the idea that Fauci had been rehearsing outrage to direct at Rand Paul like a method actor, and he's just not good at it. Fauci has tried to cultivate this amiable television persona and to flip a switch and to appear formidable, is just impossible for him to do.One might even consider he acted like he was cornered.
This thing with Rand Paul was going to go where it was going to go, and I think it was completely for seeable to Fauci and anybody else who is paying attention. So he was able to get out a line of misdirection for the press to pick up on and run with if they're going to do it. And I haven't read up about this in the left wing press enough to know whether or not they capitalized on his suggestion.