FAUCI doubled down on his assertion that anyone who criticizes him is criticizing science and said his flip-flopping on the mask issue was because “that’s the way science works” during a New York Times podcast interview.
During the episode for The Sway podcast with Kara Swisher, Fauci took aim at critics who pointed out his flip-flopping on the mask mandate and recommendations for mask wearing.
He said: “It is essential as a scientist that you evolve your opinion and your recommendations based on the data as it evolves. And that’s the reason why I say people who then criticize me about that are actually criticizing science.”
Fauci, 80, went on to insist that “that’s the way science works.”
“The people who are giving the ad hominems are saying, ‘Ah, Fauci misled us. First he said no masks, then he said masks.’
“It was not a change because I felt like flip-flopping. It was a change because the evidence changed, the data changed.
“Well, let me give you a flash. That’s the way science works. You work with the data you have at the time.”
The National Institute of Health Director faced backlash for telling Americans not to wear masks during the early days of the Pandemic, only to reverse his stance later on and to become one of the staunchest advocates of mask wearing.
In his pushback to critics comparing him to Hitler, he praised himself and said he devoted his life to “saving lives.”
“The more extreme they get, the more obvious how political it is … ‘Fauci has blood in his hands.’ Are you kidding me?
“Here’s a guy whose entire life has been devoted to saving lives, and now you’re telling me he’s like Hitler? You know, come on, folks. Get real.”
Other critics have taken issue with Fauci’s resistance to exploring the lab leak hypothesis of COVID-19’s origin, even though he has since expressed more openness to the theory.
The immunologist went on to detail shocking harassment and death threats he received, including some that targeted his family.
“It gets preposterous, and the thing that bothers you most of all is the impact it has on your family.
“I mean, getting death threats and getting your daughters and your wife threatened with obscene notes and threatening notes is not fun. So I can’t say that doesn’t bother me.”
Early in the Pandemic, Republican senators Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, and Marsha Blackburn called for Fauci’s resignation after emails were released showing the Wuhan lab had received over $826,000 in US funding.
“It’s very dangerous, because a lot of what you’re seeing as attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science because all of the things that I have spoken about consistently from the very beginning have been fundamentally based on science,” he told Chuck Todd in an NBC appearance at the time.
The doctor also reacted strongly to claims from Senator Blackburn that he had secret communication with Mark Zuckerberg.
“And I’m sorry, I don’t want to be pejorative against a United States senator but I have no idea what she’s talking about,” he pushed back.
Right wing critics were quick to take issue with his remarks, nicknaming him “King Tony Fauci.”
Tucker Carlson mockingly imitated the immunologist on his show: “When you attack me, you attack science. I am science says the Sun King Tony Fauci – our own Louis XIV.”
Fauci told the Senate that the US dollars that went to the Wuhan lab did not contribute to “gain of function” research, the practice of altering a virus to be more transmissible or pathogenic, but later admitted he couldn’t be sure.