For more than a year, Dr. Anthony Fauci has received a tremendous amount of public attention. Some former President Donald Trump supporters and COVID-19 skeptics have made the infectious disease expert the center of bizarre viral conspiracy theories. With the recent revelation on hundreds of Fauci's emails to several national media sources, the hatred has only grown.
On Sunday, when he appeared on the New York Times Opinion podcast "Sway," Anthony Fauci, the head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and White House chief medical advisor, addressed the criticism. Fauci said that no matter how hard he tries to block out the noise, he can't ignore the impact the criticisms have on his family. Death threats and outrageous messages sent to his wife and daughters have been among the most severe and alarming forms of harassment he and his family experienced.
Fauci says he is unconcerned of the criticisms
According to Business Insider, Swisher also mentioned some of the recent personal assaults on Fauci, like Roger Stone's comparison of the doctor to Hitler and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' tweet about "freedom over faucism." Some of Fauci's colleagues have refrained from speaking publicly about vaccinations because of the response, which he described as an orchestrated attempt to discredit the truth effectively. However, he feels that the more severe the statement is, the more political it appears.
During the podcast, the health authority justified the controversial statements, claiming that the apparent shift in recommendations is due to "the way science works." Fauci claimed he and his family had received death threats from the public after being compared to Hitler and after suffering a storm of criticism, much of it from high-profile GOP legislators.
During the early emergence of COVID-19 crisis in spring of 2020, Fauci urged Americans not to worry about wearing face masks. Then later on, he eventually became a strong proponent of public masking, claiming that his early dismissal of face coverings resulted from a lack of supplies for health workers.
The veteran infectious disease specialist who has led the National Institutes of Health since 1984 has also come under fire for diverting people's attention away from the reports that state COVID-19 may have leaked from a Wuhan virus lab. He has since stated that he is open to such notion.
Per Daily Mail, Fauci said he was unconcerned about the acclaim and condemnation he has gotten due to his role as the de-facto face of the US COVID-19 crisis; but he was taken aback by comparisons to Adolf Hitler. He claimed he places "very little weight in the praise, and very little weight in the craziness of denouncing [him]," as delivered in a preview of his podcast interview with Axios.
Republican critics want Fauci, who currently serves as Joe Biden's chief medical advisor, dismissed. Fauci has repeatedly sought to explain that his suggestions changed as scientific understanding evolved, eliciting vehement criticism from republican politicians. They sarcastically dubbed him King Tony Fauci earlier this month after the immunologist argued that assaults on him were "attacks on science."
Republicans urged Fauci to resign
After Republican Senators Marsha Blackburn, Marco Rubio, and Tom Cotton called on Fauci to resign or face termination, he claimed that he misled the Americans about the origin of COVID-19. Following a furious interview in which he accused his critics of conducting "anti-science" assaults, Sen. Marsha Blackburn accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of seeking opportunities to deflect criticism of his first handling of the COVID-19 lab leak allegation, Fox News reported.
Blackburn pressed Fauci to explain why he did not look into the lab leak theory sooner and why he did not speak out against earlier reports dismissing the likelihood. During the podcast, Fauci expressed his doubts about the lab leak theory, claiming that the existing information evaluated by virologists showed COVID-19 was entirely consistent with anything developed from bat viruses. He went on to say that specialists haven't discovered any proof to back up the theory that the virus was bioengineered.