Sen. John Kennedy said he knows, likes, and respects Dr. Anthony Fauci, but he still wants him to "cut the crap" after the doctor called the growing criticism of him and his decisions "attacks on science."
"This isn’t about Dr. Fauci," the Louisiana Republican said on Fox News' "Hannity" Wednesday night. "It’s not about his feelings, and I’m sorry if his feelings were hurt. You know, maybe he ought to buy an emotional support pony."
But, he added, "we’re not debating dance moves on TikTok here. We’re talking about millions of human lives.”
Fauci heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and is President Joe Biden's chief medical advisor on COVID. He has come under fire in recent weeks after a trove of his emails was released and revealed his changing stance on several COVID-related issues, including masks and his initial dismissals of theories that the coronavirus had been accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.
"A lot of what you’re seeing as attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science," Fauci told NBC's Chuck Todd Wednesday. "All of the things that I have spoken about consistently from the very beginning, have been fundamentally based on science ... People want to fire me or put me in jail for what I’ve done — namely, follow the science.”
Fauci also reiterated that he believes the virus likely came from a natural, not manmade, origin, but "we have not ruled out the possibility that there could have been a leak from the lab. I haven’t changed my mind."
Kennedy, though, pointed out that Fauci "gave a lot of US taxpayer money to the Wuhan lab for Chinese scientists to research bat coronaviruses."
"Neither Dr. Fauci nor any of his people can guarantee us that the Chinese scientists didn’t use that money to do gain-of-function research and turn a normal virus into a supercharged virus," the senator continued. "They weren’t monitored, Dr. Fauci and his people didn’t monitor the lab, and it’s not like it hasn’t happened before."
Kennedy also told Hannity that if China could prove this virus happened naturally, he would be "screaming it from the rooftop to get the world off its back."
He also called on Fauci to "hit these things head-on, otherwise, it’s going to undermine public health, people’s confidence in public health, and the American people are going to end up trusting Dr. Pepper more than Dr. Fauci.”
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