Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci
President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, Dr.Anthony Fauci, this week said criticism pertaining to his recently released email correspondence is "nonsense" and "anti-me" as he touted his record of "saving lives."

Earlier in the month, thousands of Fauci's emails were released via Freedom of Information Act requests from Buzzfeed and the Washington Post. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, quickly came under fire from conservatives for several messages that appeared to show him contradicting public health guidance and attempting to downplay the validity of the theory that the coronavirus emerged from a lab in Wuhan, China.

"But once I knew that it got out there and it was going to get very carefully scrutinized by very far-right, radical people who clearly are trying to discredit me — no doubt about that — that's political," Fauci said of the email dump on a segment of the podcast Sway from the New York Times, which was released on Monday. "It's clear. It's anti-science, and it's anti-me," adding that "every single one of those emails can be explained in a way that is perfectly normal, perfectly innocent, and completely above board."

"Well, politics clouds the whole thing," he added. "I mean, it's so obvious. I know, obviously, in this interview, you can't, in any way, take sides. But the nonsense that's going on now, the stuff that's being thrown around — criminal charges, blood on your hands. What in God's name are you talking about?"

During one high-profile email exchange with Obama-era Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell in February 2020, Fauci said some masks "are not really effective" at stemming COVID-19.

"Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading [an] infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection," the medical adviser wrote at the time.

"The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out [the] virus, which is small enough to pass through the material. It might, however, provide some slight benefit in [keeping] out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you," he added.

During the podcast, the health authority defended the controversial remarks and said the apparent change in guidance is the "way science works."

"So the people who are giving the ad hominems are saying, 'Fauci misled us,'" he said. "'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 is essential as a scientist that you evolve your opinion and your recommendations based on the data as it evolves."

"That is the nature of science. It is a self-correcting process," he added. "And that's the reason why I say people who then criticize me about that are actually criticizing science. It was not a change because I felt like flip-flopping. It was a change because the evidence changed. The data changed."

After facing a wave of backlash, much of it from high-profile GOP lawmakers, Fauci said he and his family have received death threats from the public after being likened to "Hitler."

"And the thing that bothers you most of all is the impact it has on your family," he said. "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. I mean, the more extreme they get, the more obvious how political it is. 'Fauci is like Hitler. Fauci has blood on his hands.' Are you kidding me?"

"Here's a guy whose entire life has been devoted to saving lives, and now you're telling me he's like Hitler? Come on, folks. Get real," he continued, adding that "what I do is I'm a public health official and a scientist who's devoted my entire 50-year medical career, 40 of which have been in public health, to saving lives — and, in fact, saving millions of lives."
Jake Dima is a Breaking News Reporter for the Washington Examiner