Fauci Says He Doesn’t ‘Pay Any Attention’ to Musk Criticism

Fauci Says He Doesn’t ‘Pay Any Attention’ to Musk Criticism
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Sept. 14, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Samantha Flom
Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), brushed off recent criticism from Elon Musk Monday, describing the Twitter CEO’s barbs as a mere “distraction.”
“I don’t respond to him,” Fauci told CNN’s David Axelrod for an upcoming podcast. “I don’t pay any attention to him because that’s merely a distraction. And if you get drawn into that—and I have to be honest—that cesspool of interaction, it’s … There’s no value added to that, David. It doesn’t help anything.”

A Critical Take

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fauci has been relied on as a source of public health guidance, serving as an adviser to both Biden and former President Donald Trump.

As Musk demonstrated Sunday, however, not all Americans agree with that guidance.

Blasting Fauci in a series of tweets, Musk not only criticized him for his leadership but also suggested that legal action should be taken against the health official.

In one post, Musk shared a meme likening Fauci to Wormtongue, a villainous adviser to King Théoden in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. In the meme, “Wormtongue” Fauci is shown advising “King” Biden, “Just one more lockdown, my King ...”
Additionally, in a subsequent tweet that garnered more than 1 million likes, the Twitter chief wrote, “My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci.”
Then, in a follow-up tweet that appeared to reference his previous post’s popularity, Musk added, “Truth resonates …”


One person that Musk’s statement seemed to resonate with was Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who replied, “I affirm your pronouns Elon.”

Meanwhile, across the political divide, Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an outspoken critic of the COVID-19 vaccines, also signaled his approval.

“Kudos to @elonmusk for looking beyond the propaganda,” he wrote.

Others, however, were less appreciative of Musk’s humor.

“Mr. Musk—That is an extremely juvenile+disrespectful tweet,” wrote Harold Pollack, a University of Chicago public health sciences professor. “As someone who commands a huge public platform+controls billions of dollars in personal+corporate resources, you might use this moment to consider how to interact with others in a more substantive+respectful way.”

Meanwhile, the White House response issued on Monday by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called Musk’s remarks “dangerous,” “disgusting,” and “divorced from reality.”

However, evidently unfazed by his critics, Musk responded Monday with yet another joke, noting, “The Branch Covidians are upset lol.”

The Twitter Files

For the past two weeks, Musk has made headlines with his decision to expose the true motivations behind some of Twitter’s most controversial actions over the past few years, including the platform’s censorship of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story, “shadow banning” of blacklisted users, and ban of former President Donald Trump’s personal account.
However, those revelations appear to just be the tip of the iceberg, as Musk has indicated that more disclosures will  come.

“When will we get the twitter files on covid?” one user asked on Sunday. “The info on the suspension of the many doctors and scientists? Who was involved? Suppression of what has turned out to be factual information.”

“Oh it is coming bigtime,” Musk replied.

Musk also revealed that further explanation of his comments about Fauci would be covered by future releases as well.

Last month, Twitter updated its rules for posts related to COVID-19 with the following note: “Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy.”

The update was announced in a report Twitter published detailing the enforcement actions the platform had taken regarding content relating to COVID-19.

According to the report, between January 2020 and September 2022, 11.72 million accounts were challenged, 11,230 accounts were suspended, and 97,674 pieces of content were removed under its misleading information policy.

Musk has previously espoused support for the COVID-19 vaccines, noting in April 2021: “To be clear, I do support vaccines in general and covid vaccines specifically. The science is unequivocal. In very rare cases, there is an allergic reaction, but this is easily addressed with an EpiPen.”

Fauci, for his part, has maintained that he had “nothing to do with” COVID-19 lockdowns, mandates, or school closures. He is slated to step down from his positions with NIAID and as an adviser to the president in December.
Samantha Flom is a reporter for The Epoch Times covering U.S. politics and news. A graduate of Syracuse University, she has a background in journalism and nonprofit communications. Contact her at [email protected].
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