Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday said Fox News host Jesse Watters should be "fired on the spot" after Watters encouraged attendees at a conservative conference to "ambush" Fauci with a rhetorical "kill shot."
Speaking to Turning Point USA's "AmericaFest" conference on Monday, Watters told attendees to go for the rhetorical "kill shot with an ambush" when confronting Fauci, which would be "deadly" because "he doesn't see it coming."
At the conference, Watters encouraged attendees to confront Fauci with the allegation that he purportedly funded "gain-of-function" research at laboratories in Wuhan, China — a claim that Fauci has repeatedly denied. The allegation is central to conservative attempts to blame Fauci and the Chinese government for former President Donald Trump's poor response to the outbreak of the virus.
"Boom, he is dead," Watters told the conference attendees.
Asked about Watters' incendiary rhetoric on CNN's New Day on Tuesday, Fauci said the Fox News host should be fired.
"That's such a reflection of the craziness that goes on in society," Fauci said. "That's awful that he said that and he's going to go very likely unaccountable, I mean, whatever network he's on is not going to do anything, basically."
Fauci has been the target of death threats after months of attacks from conservatives as he has served as the public face of the U.S. government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fox News host Lara Logan recently compared Fauci to the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. The network did not take any disciplinary action against Logan for her remarks.
Watters, who is co-host of Fox News' The Five and hosts the weekend show Watters World, has been criticized for aggressive behavior in the past. In 2009, while working for Fox's now-defunct program The O'Reilly Factor, Watters followed HuffPost reporter Amanda Terkel while she was on vacation and hounded her on camera.
Watters' boss at the time, former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, once led a campaign against abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in which O'Reilly referred to the doctor as "Tiller, the baby killer." In May of 2009, Tiller was killed by an anti-abortion activist in his church.
O'Reilly was ousted from Fox News after it was revealed that the network had covered up multiple instances of the host sexually harassing women in the workplace.
Article reprinted with permission from The American Independent