Dr. Fauci Rebukes 'Craziness' of Criticism, Death Threats
The harsh criticism is getting to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the 37-year U.S. infectious disease chief who oversaw the biggest pandemic of our lifetimes.
Fauci gives "very little weight in the adulation, and very little weight in the craziness of condemning me," the highest-paid U.S. government official told The New York Times' Kara Swisher in a podcast to be released Monday, Axios reported, adding, "it gets preposterous, and the thing that bothers you most of all is the impact it has on your family."
Fauci noted he has received death threats for his handling of the pandemic.
"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," Fauci added, Axios reported.
"The more extreme they get, the more obvious how political it is."
Fauci rebuked lawmakers like Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who said, "Fauci has blood in his hands."
"Are you kidding me?" Fauci lamented to Swisher. "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."
More of the harshest criticism is for Fauci's "evolving" health recommendations that he adamantly pushed at first, telling people to trust the "science," and then reverses on and again calls on Americans to trust him.
"It is essential as a scientist that you evolve your opinion and your recommendations based on the data as it evolves," Fauci told Swisher, Axios reported. "And that's the reason why I say people who then criticize me about that are actually criticizing science.
"The people who are giving the ad hominems are saying, 'Ah, Fauci misled us. First he said no masks, then he said masks. Well, let me give you a flash. That's the way science works. You work with the data you have at the time.
"It was not a change because I felt like flip-flopping. It was a change because the evidence changed, the data changed."
Fauci denies his advice can be seen as incorrect. He was a large force behind the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns, which led President Joe Biden to call Republican-led states lifting them a function of "Neanderthal thinking" before they ultimately were lifted through the country weeks later.
"It isn't a question of being wrong," Fauci told the Times podcast to be released Monday. "It's a question of going with the data as you have, and being humble enough and flexible enough to change with the data.