“He’s been head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for more than 35 years, so it makes sense to trust him,” Carlson began, adding that he believes it is “fair” to evaluate Fauci’s performance, since he has been leading the federal government’s response to the pandemic.
Carlson’s guest was Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins, who argued that Fauci has made a number of significant mistakes since the COVID-19 outbreak. Makary said Fauci failed to prepare the country for the pandemic by not proposing measures to produce personal protective equipment, increase testing capacity, and ban non-essential travel.
Carlson pointed to Fauci’s remarks about Tinder dating, saying that the public expert seems a bit “frivolous” at times. The anchor added that Fauci “seems to be a very political man.”
“I don’t think you hold any job in Washington for 35 years without being a skilled and a ruthless political operator, I happen to know.”
Carlson concluded that Trump and his allies will probably not be able to oust the public health expert. He said that “it does seem like it’d be pretty hard to get rid of Tony Fauci, since he is such a relentless media presence.”
Carlson has previously criticized Fauci’s job performance. In late April, as Newsweek reported, the anchor said that Fauci “repeatedly” downplayed the threat of COVID-19. Carlson pointed to the public health expert’s suggestions that Americans should not be worried about the virus, and criticized him for arguing in favor of stay-at-home orders.
Carlson said that nationwide lockdowns would amount to “national suicide,” arguing that the U.S. economy would not be able to handle such measures. Similar policies would lead to tens of millions of Americans losing their jobs, the anchor claimed.
“That would be national suicide, and yet, that is what Anthony Fauci is suggesting, at least,” he said.
Carlson’s criticism echoes what appears to be a growing sentiment in right-wing circles. For instance, in early April, conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh alleged that Fauci is conspiring with Democrats to remove President Donald Trump from the White House.
Days later, Trump added fuel to the fire by retweeting a user who called on him to “fire Fauci.” The president amplified the tweet after Fauci suggested that lives could have been saved if the federal government acted quicker to stop the spread of the virus.