(Headline USA) COVID czar Anthony Fauci, after having failed utterly to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that his research had helped support, pushed back aggressively against critics on both Right and Left.
Fauci viciously slammed Democrat scion Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as a “very disturbed individual” in an interview with Yahoo News.
Kennedy, an outspoken vaccine critic released his book The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health last month.
“It’s a shame because he comes from such an extraordinarily distinguished family, many members of whom I know personally,” Fauci boasted, noting his close relationship with Kennedy’s uncle, former Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.
“To have RFK Jr. just spouting things that make absolutely no sense,” Fauci continued. “… I’m so sorry that he’s doing that, not just because he’s attacking me—that seems to be the rage among some people—but because ultimately it is going to hurt people.”
Watters used the phrase “kill shot” while urging the audience to confront Fauci in public.
“Now you go in for the kill shot, the kill shot with an ambush, deadly, because he doesn’t see it coming,” Watters said while telling people to interrogate Fauci on the street about his funding of research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Fauci, asked about it on CNN, said that Watters should be fired “on the spot” but predicted he wouldn’t be held accountable for his language.
Fox said Watters’ words had been “twisted completely out of context.”
The rhetoric mirrored the encouragement that many leftists offered to violent activists and rioters during the Trump administration, with figures like radical Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., telling protestors to get in their face.
“If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” she said, according to CNN.
Waters was criticized after reiterating her calls for violence during the Kyle Rittenhouse trial in November. A black supremacist subsequently plowed into a crowd at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisc., killing six people, including an 8-year-old boy.
Watters, a host on Fox News Channel’s panel show “The Five” who made his initial mark doing aggressive interviews for Bill O’Reilly, spoke Monday to a group of college and high school conservatives. His audience booed at the mention of Fauci’s name.
Watters said that Fauci should be confronted on the subject of whether the National Institute of Health funded research at the lab in Wuhan, China.
He suggested an interviewer say, “you know why people don’t trust you, don’t you?’ Oh, he is dead. He’s dead. He’s done.”
The interviewer should make sure the encounter is filmed and the footage given to conservative media, Watters said.
“Just make sure it’s legal,” Watters said.
During an interview with Fauci on Tuesday, CNN’s John Berman referred to Watters as a “Fox News entertainer,” and asked about the comments without playing the clip, saying it was dangerous.
Berman referred to a “rhetorical kill shot,” and asked Fauci how much that language concerned him.
Fauci noted that for two years, he’s been encouraging people to protect themselves against COVID-19 by practicing good public health practices and get vaccinated.
“For that, you have some guy out there saying people should be giving me a kill shot, to ambush me?” he said.
“I mean, what kind of craziness is there in society these days? That’s awful what he said. And he’s going to go, very likely, unaccountable,” Fauci continued. “Whatever network he is on is not going to do anything. The guy should be fired on the spot.”
Fauci, in a “60 Minutes” interview in October, discussed death threats he had received and his need for a security detail.
In a statement, Fox said “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 … and his words have been twisted completely out of context.”
Watters’ reference to “kill shot,” however, baffled some people in television news.
Last month on Fox, Tucker Carlson compared Fauci to Italian World War II dictator Benito Mussolini, while Lara Logan said Fauci, to some people, represented Josef Mengele, the Nazi death doctor.
More than 800,000 Americans have perished as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, at least half of them coming this year under the Biden administration.
Fauci initially tried to lie about his organization’s role in funding the research that likely led to a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute.
His lack of candor in the pandemic’s early days likely contributed to the delayed response of the Trump administration, although it is unlikely that the virus could have been effectively mitigated under any circumstances.
Lawmakers including Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., have publicly called for him to face criminal charges and are likely to investigate his controversial gain-of-function research if Republicans are able to reclaim the US House and Senate in the 2022 midterms.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press