Fauci hits back at critics like Elon Musk, who have called for his prosecution, saying 'I wish I could figure out what the heck they're talking about'
- Dr. Anthony Fauci has responded to critics such as Elon Musk over his pandemic response.
- During an interview with CNN, Fauci said calls for his prosecution were "insanity."
Dr. Anthony Fauci has lashed out at critics including Elon Musk during an interview with CNN.
The former US chief medical advisor told host Jim Acosta that calls for his prosecution didn't make any sense and were irresponsible.
Acosta had read Fauci a tweet from Elon Musk suggesting Fauci should be prosecuted. "My pronouns are prosecute/Fauci," the billionaire said in December.
"There's no response to that craziness, Jim. Prosecute me for what? What are they talking about? I wish I could figure out what the heck they're talking about. I think they're just going off the deep end," Fauci said.
He added that the narrative resulted in death threats and affected his family. He said: "Every time someone gets up and spouts some nonsense that's misinformation, disinformation, and outright lies, somebody somewhere decides they want to do harm to me and or my family."
"That's the part of it that is really unfortunate," Fauci said. "The rest of it is just insanity, the things they're saying. But it does have a negative effect when people take it seriously and take it out on you and your family."
Republicans have long criticized Fauci's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of this criticism was revived earlier this month after FBI Director Christopher Wray told Fox news the virus "most likely" originated in a "Chinese government-controlled lab."
As Insider's Tom Porter reported, Fauci said in 2020 that he believed the virus had originated in nature, but more recently Fauci has expressed doubt we'll ever know the source of the virus.
Polling from late 2020 showed that 32% of voters said Fauci's COVID-19 response had been "excellent." The same share said his response had been "good." The poll was conducted by business intelligence firm Morning Consult and Politico.
Representatives for Musk and Fauci did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, made outside normal working hours.
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