Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday said a Fox News personality should be "fired on the spot" for telling attendees at the Turning Point USA conference they should ambush him and go for a video "kill shot" while confronting him with questions about COVID.
"The only thing that I have ever done throughout these two years is to encourage people to practice good public health practices: to get vaccinated, to be careful in public settings, to wear a mask," Fauci, the chief medical adviser for President Joe Biden and the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN's "New Day." "And for that, you have some guy out there saying that people should be giving me a kill shot to ambush me? I mean, what kind of craziness is there in society these days?"
His comments come after Fox News' host Jesse Watters said Monday at the conference that Fauci's critics should "be respectful" and identify themselves when confronting Fauci with their questions for the "kill shot," which Deadline describes as a video clip that could be played repeatedly, and then to send the recording to Fox News and other outlets.
"This is where you say Dr. Fauci, you funded risky research at a sloppy Chinese lab," Watters said. "The same lab that sprung this pandemic on the world. You know that people don't trust you, don't you?" Watters said during his remarks from the conference stage. "Boom. He is dead! He's dead. He's done. You do that 30 seconds, it's all you need."
The confrontation is "what we want," said Watters. "That changes the whole conversation of the country."
He also told the attendees that he wanted to "deputize all of you guys to be little James O’Keefes," referring to a conservative activist who specializes in hidden camera videos of left-leaning political figures and the media.
Fauci told CNN he doesn't think Watters will be held "accountable" for his comments.
Also on Tuesday, Fauci praised former President Donald Trump for his announcement at a weekend event in Dallas that he's gotten a COVID-19 booster shot, but said he was shocked when Trump's supporters booed him.
"They were booing him, which just doesn’t make any sense at all, to boo someone who is saying they did the right thing from a public health standpoint," Fauci said on CNN.
Fauci said he is "very pleased" that Trump cheerfully promoted the vaccine and booster shot to his vaccine-skeptical fans.
"I’m very pleased that he did say that and come out publicly and say that he has been vaccinated and boosted," Fauci said. "But to get booed for saying that just tells you about the extraordinary divisiveness we have going into this public health issue."
Meanwhile, Fauci was on the morning news program in advance of President Joe Biden's planned address to the nation concerning the rapid spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19 and the fight against a strong winter COVID-19 surge.
Biden is to announce a plan to make hundreds of millions of free rapid at-home COVID-19 tests to be distributed, among other strategies.
Fauci told CNN that while the demand is growing for tests, getting one depends on the situation a person is expecting, such as taking an "extra step" before attending a social gathering, or if a person has been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Testing is important, like masking, but the most important thing that people can do is to get their vaccinations and a booster shot, said Fauci.
"We're getting half a billion tests very quickly, literally within the next few days, and then have a situation where you can get anywhere from 200 million to half a billion tests a month," said Fauci. "We'll, very soon, have all the tests people need. You are correct, it is an important part of the comprehensive program of staying safe."
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