Dr Anthony Fauci, the top infectious diseases expert of the US government, on Tuesday, called for the instant firing of Fox News host Jesse Watters after the latter used provocative language at a conservative conference to egg on attendees to “ambush” Fauci in the streets and to record a rhetorical “kill shot.”
In his appearance on CNN’s ‘New Day’, Fauci said, “I mean that’s crazy. The man should be fired on the spot.”
“I mean, what kind of craziness is there in society these days? That’s awful that he said that. And he’s going to go, very likely, unaccountable. I mean, whatever network he’s on is not going to do anything. … I mean, that’s crazy. The guy should be fired on the spot,” Fauci said on the provocative remarks made by Fox News host Jesse Watters.
Fauci lamented that Watters’ remarks illustrated the reflection of the craziness that goes on in society. He said the only thing that he has been doing over the last two years is to spur people to follow good health practices, get their vaccination shots, be vigilant in public settings, wear a mask, and for these well-meaning suggestions, he is being reviled, asked to be ambushed and given a “kill shot”.
Fox News host Jesse Watters calls his supporters to ambush Fauci and administer him a “kill shot”
In his comments over the weekend to pro-Trump youth group Turning Point USA, Watters appeared to link Fauci to allegations of biowarfare.
“Now you’re going for the kill shot. The kill shot with an ambush [is] deadly because he doesn’t see it coming,” Watters told the crowd.
He further added, “Dr Fauci, you funded risky research at a sloppy Chinese lab. The same lab that sprung this pandemic on the world. You know why people don’t trust you, don’t you? Boom, he is dead! He is dead! He’s done!”
After his comments for Fauci drew a backlash, Fox News came out in defence of its employee, stating that Watter was using metaphor to urge people to ask him uncomfortable questions about his link to Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Chinese laboratory that is surmised in some quarters as the place where the coronavirus originated.
“Based on watching the full clip and reading the entire transcript, it’s more than clear that Jesse Watters was using a metaphor for asking hard-hitting questions to Dr Fauci about gain-of-function research and his words have been twisted completely out of context,” Fox News said in a statement Tuesday.
Fauci drew criticism for dismissing lab-leak origin of the coronavirus
The United States’ leading expert on infectious diseases, Dr Anthony Fauci, found himself in the eye of an ever-intensifying storm earlier this year after hundreds of his private emails were made public by two US media outlets. The emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act request shed light on Dr Fauci’s reticence on considering the possibility of a lab leak origin of COVID-19 even as the virus was priming itself to ravage the United States and the rest of the world.
The cache of emails revealed that several people, including researchers, people in US administration and intelligence, wanted to probe the role of the Chinese lab, but they were overruled by Dr Anthony Fauci and others, who had vested interests in the issue as they themselves were instrumental in US govt funding the study on the virus in the Wuhan lab.
The trove of emails brings under the scanner the role of Dr Fauci and others who are credited for fashioning America’s response to the pandemic. Dr Fauci, who was a lead member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has become a focal point of criticism after the emails correspondence revealed that he was warned of the possibility of the inorganic nature of the coronavirus in advance, but he did not do enough to address the apprehensions.
Dr Fauci’s links to Peter Daszak, a zoologist whose organisation funded “gain of function” research at WIV
Dr Fauci has also drawn the ire of the critics for bankrolling Peter Daszak, a leading zoologist, whose non-profit was responsible for steering the US funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Daszak’s organisation, EcoHealth Alliance, had received funding of at least $3.4 million in grants from the National Institute of Health(NIH) to study coronaviruses between 2014 to 2019.
In April last year, Dr Fauci had publicly denounced claims regarding the coronavirus lab leak. In an April 2020 email published as a part of the FOIA request by Buzzfeed, Daszak conveyed ‘personal thank you’ to Dr Fauci on behalf of his staff at his organisation for pushing back on the claims that the virus might have originated from a laboratory.