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Tag: anthony fauci

Fauci: Heavily Armed 'Crazy' Sought To Kill Me After Rand Paul's Verbal Assault

Defending himself against Senator Rand Paul's unrelenting and false attacks in a Senate Health Committee hearing on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Kentucky conspiracy-theory wielding Republican his attacks led to a heavily-armed man driving cross country to Washington, D.C. on a mission, the gunman said, "to kill Dr. Fauci."

Fauci accused Paul of using the "catastrophic epidemic for your political gain."

After multiple and unyielding attacks from Sen. Paul, Fauci was forced to defend himself, telling committee members, "the last time we had a committee or the time before, he was accusing me of being responsible for the death of four to five million people, which is really irresponsible."

"And I say, 'why is he doing that?' There are two reasons why that's really bad. The first is it distracts from what we're all trying to do here today, is get our arms around the epidemic and the pandemic that we're dealing with, not something imaginary."

"Number two, what happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue, is that all of a sudden that kindles the crazies out there, and I have the life – threats upon my life, harassments of my family and my children with obscene phone calls, because people are lying about me. Now, you know, I guess you could say, 'well, that's the way it goes. I can take the hit.'"

"Well, it makes a difference because as some of you may know, just about three or four weeks ago, on December 21, a person was arrested, who was on their way from Sacramento, to Washington, D.C. at a speed stop in Iowa. And they asked – the police asked him where he was going, and he was going to Washington D.C. to kill Dr. Fauci. And they found in his car, an AR-15 and multiple magazines of ammunition, because he thinks that maybe I'm killing people. So I asked myself, 'Why would Senator want to do this?' So go to Rand Paul website, and you see 'Fire Dr. Fauci' with a little box that says 'contribute here.' You can do $5, $10, $20 $100. So you are making a catastrophic epidemic for your political gain."

Watch:

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Prominent QAnon Anti-Vaxxer Who Called For Fauci 'To Be Hung' Dies Of Covid

QAnon supporter Cirsten Weldon was among the far-right anti-vaxxers and coronavirus truthers who railed against COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 — and on Thursday, January 6, according to The Daily Beast, she died of COVID-19.

Weldon, who called for Dr. Anthony Fauci — President Joe Biden’s top White House medical adviser — to be executed, was known for posting videos of herself berating people who were waiting in line to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Weldon falsely claimed that COVID-19 vaccines were dangerous, and she said that Fauci “needs to be hung from a rope.”

The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer reports, “Cirsten Weldon had amassed tens of thousands of followers across right-wing social media networks by promoting the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy under the screenname CirstenW.’ She was prominent enough to become a sort of QAnon interpreter for comedian conspiracy theorist Roseanne Barr and started recording videos about QAnon with her.”

In one of her videos, Sommer notes, Weldon can be seen yelling at people who were waiting to get vaccinated for COVID-19 — saying, “The vaccines kill, don’t get it! This is how gullible these idiots are. They’re all getting (the) vaccine!”

Weldon became ill in December, describing her symptoms in her videos and saying that she had “bacterial pneumonia.” But she continued to oppose COVID-19 vaccines.

In a December 27, 2021 video posted on Facebook, Weldon told viewers, “I didn't think I was going to make it. I'm sorry. I'm exhausted, and I have no — I'm very, very weak. I have no strength. I haven't eaten in four days.” Weldon described having “fever, chills, sweats.”

According to Sommer, Weldon posted her final video on December 28, 2021 and was “hospitalized in Camarillo, California” three days later.

Sommer points out that Weldon is “just the latest instance of a far-right personality who opposed vaccination being killed by the virus.” Others have included radio host Douglas Kuzma, who died on January 3 — only three days before Weldon — and QAnon supporter Robert David Steele, who described COVID-19 as a “hoax” before dying from it in August 2021. QAnon supporter Veronica Wolski, another anti-vaxxer, died of COVID-19 the following month.

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Fauci: Hospitals Jeopardized By Overwhelming Rise In Omicron Infections

By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) -Top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said there was still a danger of a surge in hospitalization due to a large number of coronavirus cases even as early data suggests the Omicron COVID-19 variant is less severe.

"The only difficulty is that if you have so many cases, even if the rate of hospitalization is lower with Omicron than it is with Delta, there is still the danger that you will have a surging of hospitalizations that might stress the healthcare system," Fauci said in an interview on Sunday with CNN.

The Omicron variant was estimated to be 58.6 percent of the coronavirus variants circulating in the United States as of December 25, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The sudden arrival of Omicron has brought record-setting case counts to countries around the world and dampened New Year festivities around the world..

"There will certainly be a lot more cases because this is a much more transmissible virus than Delta is," Fauci said on CNN.

However, "It looks, in fact, that it [Omicron] might be less severe, at least from data that we've gathered from South Africa, from the UK and even some from preliminary data from here in the United States," Fauci said.

Fauci added that the CDC will soon be coming out with a clarification on whether people with COVID-19 should test negative to leave isolation, after confusion last week over guidance that would let people leave after five days without symptoms.

The CDC had reduced the recommended isolation period for people with asymptomatic COVID to five days, down from 10. The policy does not require testing to confirm that a person is no longer infectious before they go back to work or socialize, causing some experts to raise questions.

"You're right. There has been some concern about why we don't ask people at that five-day period to get tested. That is something that is now under consideration", Fauci told ABC News in a separate interview on Sunday. "I think we're going to be hearing more about that in the next day or so from the CDC."

U.S. authorities registered at least 346,869 new coronavirus on Saturday, according to a Reuters tally. The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 rose by at least 377 to 828,562.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Mark Porter)

Mandating Vaccines For Air Travel Is A Flight Of Fancy

Most children learn that while a few pieces of candy are a treat, eating a whole bag can be misery. Most adult understand that taking a multivitamin every day may be good for your health, but taking two or three or four is a waste. In much of life, restraint is a virtue.

That may be news to Anthony Fauci. He is a justly respected scientist whose desire to protect the health of Americans is sincere and admirable. But even the best-intentioned souls can get overzealous. In recommending a federal vaccination mandate for all domestic air travelers, he overshot the runway.

It would undoubtedly put a burden on airline employees, who are already under severe strain just trying to keep the aviation system operating. Forcing them to inspect vaccination certificates for more than one million passengers every day would take time and energy. American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said in August, "It wouldn't be physically possible to do without enormous delays in the airline system."

When I contacted Clifford Winston, an economist at the liberal Brookings Institution, he raised other questions: "First, is the marginal benefit all that much? Second, would transmission be more likely because airline passengers would have a false sense of security and not wear masks? Third, would people try to cheat the system by providing fraudulent proof they were vaccinated?"

The risk of getting infected on a plane is clearly very low — otherwise, we'd hear of super-spreader flights every day. Airliners have hospital-grade ventilation systems, and the federal mask mandate provides another reliable barrier to transmission.

Nor is it clear how much a mandate would do to foil the omicron variant. Hundreds of flights are being canceled every day because airline employees have come down with COVID-19 — even at airlines that require all their workers to get the shots.

The problem is that though the vaccines greatly reduce the severity of symptoms, they don't prevent the vaccinated from contracting the virus. So it's not at all certain that a mandate for passengers would make an appreciable difference.

Even Fauci seems to know as much. In a Monday interview on MSNBC, he didn't argue that a mandate would make sense to protect passengers and crew. He argued instead that the requirement would be an incentive for holdouts to finally get the vaccine.

Even that is mostly wishful thinking. In a 2019 survey, 41 percent of Americans said they never fly and 28 percent said they fly only once a year. The former would have zero incentive to get the shots. Many of the latter who are unvaccinated would simply skip their annual flight rather than comply. Some of them would drive instead — which, as Winston notes, is far more dangerous than flying.

We should never forget that dictates of this sort impose on the freedom of individuals. Sometimes, that imposition is justifiable to protect others. But we shouldn't force vaccinations on people in the absence of clear, substantial benefits to society as a whole.

Many of those who refuse to get the shots have gained a measure of immunity through previous COVID-19 infections — making them less of a danger to their fellow citizens. But anti-vaxxers are mainly putting themselves in jeopardy. The rest of us can largely protect ourselves, even on airplanes, by getting vaccinated, wearing high-quality masks and sanitizing our hands frequently.

Yes, masks work. A study published last year in the Journal of Travel Medicine looked at long international flights to Hong Kong on Emirates, which enforced a strict masking rule. It found that no transmission occurred even on flights carrying several infected travelers.

Fauci and plenty of other people assume that with any tactic aimed at a worthy objective, more is always better than less. But sometimes, wisdom consists of knowing when it isn't.

Follow Steve Chapman on Twitter @SteveChapman13 or at https://www.facebook.com/stevechapman13. To find out more about Steve Chapman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Large Holiday Gatherings In U.S. Unsafe Even For Boosted, Fauci Warns

By Ahmed Aboulenein and Katharine Jackson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 can be with family over the holidays but attending large gatherings is not safe, even for those who received a booster dose, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Wednesday.

The United States faces a second Christmas of upended holiday plans, with a surge in infections fueled by the now-dominant Omicron variant of the coronavirus forcing many to cancel travel, reconsider visiting loved ones, and question attending holiday parties.

"There are many of these parties that have 30, 40, 50 people in which you do not know the vaccination status of individuals. Those are the kind of functions in the context of Omicron that you do not want to go to," Fauci said at a White House briefing.

Early evidence indicates Omicron is less severe than the Delta variant, said Fauci, citing studies from South Africa and Scotland, but warned Americans must remain cautious.

"This is good news. However, we must wait to see what happens in our own population which has its own demographic considerations," he said.

The seven-day average of COVID-19 cases in the United States rose 25 percent from the previous week to about 149,300 cases per day, said U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, with average daily deaths up 3.5 percent at 1,200.

Omicron represents approximately 73 percent of cases across the country, said Walensky, and as high as 90 percen of cases in some areas, such as the eastern Atlantic states, parts of the Midwest, South, and northern Pacific states.

"This increase in Omicron proportion is what we anticipated and what we have been preparing for," she said.

The U.S. government will have 265,000 treatment courses of Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 anti-viral treatment available by January and 10 million by late summer, said White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients.

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized Paxlovid, Pfizer's pill for at-risk people aged 12 and above.

The government will provide any resources Pfizer needs for production and will distribute treatments to states and localities at no charge as soon as they are delivered, he said.

(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein and Katharine Jackson; Additional reporting by Caitlin Webber in Washington and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler and Alistair Bekk)

Fauci Says ‘Kill Shot’ Fox Host Watters Should Be Fired

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

Violence As Metaphor: Fox News Host Urges ‘Kill Shot’ ‘Ambush’ Of Fauci

Fox News host Jesse Watters encouraged an audience of young right-wing activists to “ambush” Dr. Anthony Fauci with a rhetorical “deadly” “kill shot” while describing a gotcha question they could ask Fauci based on a conspiracy theory about the origins of COVID-19.

Watters’ comments come as Fox News has led an unprecedented wave of attacks against a leading public health figure. Fox News personalities have attacked Fauci over 400 times just since February 22, according to a Media Matters analysis of Fox’s weekday programming. These attacks can often feature violent rhetoric, as Fox personalities have likened Fauci to historical dictators and Nazis, fearmongered about a “medical deep state,” suggested Fauci should be subject to a criminal investigation, and falsely accused him of creating the coronavirus.

While Watters might defend his exhortations ( his allies already are), he also really ought to know better from his own professional history. Over 10 years ago, when Watters was a producer for disgraced Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, the show engaged in a long pattern of incitement against George Tiller, a Kansas doctor who performed abortions. This included an instance of Watters staging an ambush interview of Tiller’s lawyer, and fellow O’Reilly producer Porter Barry performing a similar ambush interview on Tiller himself. Tiller was later murdered in 2009, while he was at his church.

In addition, the venue where Watters made this latest comment must be considered. He was speaking at the “AmericaFest” event organized by Turning Point USA. This is the organization founded and run by right-wing provocateur Charlie Kirk, who has run a relentless anti-vaccine campaign, including during his appearances on Fox News. Kirk’s events have previously seen incitements to political violence (including yesterday), and his organization was also linked to the January 6 insurrection.

Watters encouraged audience members to publicly confront Fauci, should he ever come to their college campuses, with the false claim that Fauci was responsible for the creation of COVID-19 in a Chinese lab. (The conspiracy theory has been promoted by multiple Fox News hosts including Maria Bartiromo, Steve Hilton, and Tucker Carlson.)


JESSE WATTERS (FOX NEWS HOST): You have the goods, you have the goods, because he's been able to dodge and weave on the ABC and NBC, no one's ever hit him in the face like this, not even [U.S. Sen.] Rand Paul has been able to get in his face, and point with the grant in his face. Then, he's in trouble.
Now you go in for the kill shot. The kill shot, with an ambush, deadly, because he doesn't see it coming. This is when you say, “Dr. Fauci, you funded risky research at a sloppy Chinese lab, the same lab that sprung this pandemic on the world. You know why people don't trust you, Don’t you?” Boom, he is dead, he is dead, he’s done.
Now how you do that, 30 seconds, that’s all you need, 30 seconds. Now, you get that footage to us, you get it to Fox, you get it to Human Events, you get it to Breitbart, you get it to Daily Caller, you get it to the Turning Point pipeline. Imagine Tucker Carlson teases out of the A-block, “Coming up, brave college student confronts Lord Fauci at dinner. Exclusive footage, right back.” Get us that — that's what we want. That changes the whole conversation of the country.
I’ve authorized it, just make sure it's legal.



Fauci responded on Tuesday morning’s edition of CNN’s New Day, calling out Fox News for the likelihood that it was “not going to do anything” about Watters.


JOHN BERMAN (CO-ANCHOR): On the subject of divisiveness, Dr. Fauci — I'm not going to play it because, frankly, I think it is dangerous. But Jesse Watters, who is a Fox News entertainer, was giving a speech to a conservative group where he talked about you and suggested to the crowd that they ambush you with what he said was some kind of rhetorical “kill shot.” That was his exact word. I'm wondering, you know, how much that concerns you when you hear language like that about you and your well-being?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI (CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT): Well, John, that's horrible. I mean, that just is such a reflection of the craziness that goes on in society. 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. 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? 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 for him. I mean, that's crazy. The guy should be fired on the spot.


About three weeks ago, Fox Nation host Lara Logan compared Fauci to the Nazi war criminal Dr. Josef Mengele. At the time, Fauci called the comparison “unconscionable” and an “insult to all of the people who suffered and died under the Nazi regime in the concentration camps.” Logan, meanwhile, tweeted further attacks at Fauci for his past research on AIDS drugs and amplified another user’s tweet attacking the Auschwitz Museum for having condemned her remarks.

Since then, Logan has apparently been absent from Fox’s on-air programming. But Fox has not taken any similar measures with Watters, at least not so far. Instead of holding Watters accountable, Fox has posted Watters’ speech on its own Fox Nation site and promoted a link to it on Twitter.

screen grab

Article reprinted with permission from MediaMatters