Dr. Anthony Fauci appears to have lost patience with his critics in recent weeks, reacting angrily to criticism of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and suggesting that he be honest in his dealings with Congress. are not.
Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), had an angry exchange with Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Roger Marshall (R-KS) at a Senate Health Committee hearing on Tuesday. . Heard Marshall calling him “a fool” on a hot mic.
On December 21, 2021, Fauci called for the sacking of Fox News host Jesse Waters following controversial remarks made at the Turning Points USA conference about the “ambush” of an infectious diseases specialist.
Fauci’s willingness to openly clash with critics is in stark contrast to the ethereal image he enjoyed at the start of the pandemic.
The NIAID director often appeared to present a jovial demeanor and former President Donald Trump called him “a good man”.
He also became the subject of some cult, with some fans even producing Fauci-themed merchandise.
However, Fauci quickly became the subject of strong criticism, particularly from conservatives, and has clashed repeatedly with Paul over whether the National Institutes of Health funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. made available. Fauci has said that this did not happen.
Paul has frequently returned to that topic in Senate hearings and has testy exchanges with Fauci, who has said that the senator doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Paul suggests that Fauci lied to Congress and should be fired.
Tension between the men was on full display Tuesday as Fauci accused Paul of “distorting everything about me” after the senator accused him of using his office to silence scientists, To which he did not agree.
“You attack me personally and you don’t even have a shred of evidence for what you say,” Fauci said. “So I would like to clarify something to the committee, it is doing this for political reasons.
“What happens when he goes out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue, is that all of a sudden there’s a madness out there, and there’s danger to my life, the oppression of my family, and my kids.” Calling me obscene because people are lying about me.”
Fauci also submitted printouts of his face and the phrase “Fire Fauci” from Paul’s website as part of an appeal for charity. Paul later issued a fundraising appeal calling Fauci “hysterical.”
Fauci also clashed with Marshall as Republicans asked him about his annual salary and financial disclosures, in which the NIAID director appeared incredulous in the line of questioning. It appears that Marshall was suggesting that Fauci had personally benefited from his role at NIAID.
Stating that his financial disclosures were available if senators wanted him, Fauci said: “You are giving a lot of misinformation. This is extraordinary.”
Towards the end of that interrogation, Fauci could be heard on a hot mic saying “what a moron” and “Jesus Christ” – leading to further criticism of Marshall on social media.
While Fauci’s exchanges with Paul and Marshall made headlines, he has also recently shown a willingness to take aim at his critics in the media, calling for the firing of Jesse Watters from Fox News during an appearance on CNN in December. Did.
Waters was speaking at the Turning Points USA conference on how to conduct an ambush interview with Fauci that could go viral and said: “Now you go in for the kill shot. Kill shot? With an ambush? Deadly. Because he doesn’t see it coming.”
Fauci told CNN: “I mean, he’s crazy… the man should be fired on the spot.”
On December 3, 2021, Fauci criticized Fox News for not taking action against host Lara Logan for comparing her to the Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele. Fauci told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes: “Chris, what I find amazing is how he doesn’t get any discipline from the Fox network. How can they tell him there is no comment and no disciplinary action. I’m amazed by it.”
During the pandemic, it appears that Fauci has become more inclined to respond directly to critics and is losing patience with relentless attacks on them. This is in stark contrast to his relatively quiet public appearances in previous months.
Despite being a director of the NIAID since 1984, Fauci has recently become a well-known public figure.