Anthony Fauci Accuses Tucker Carlson Of Spreading 'Crazy Conspiracy Theory'

Dr. Anthony Fauci holds a press conference.
Gettyimages | Alex Wong
News & Politics

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said in an interview on Wednesday that Fox News host Tucker Carlson is pushing a "crazy conspiracy theory" about coronavirus vaccines.

Earlier this week, Carlson -- who is one of the most popular cable hosts in the United States -- seemed to suggests that COVID-19 vaccines may not be as effective as public health officials claim.

Fauci weighed in on Carlson's comments during an appearance on CNN's New Day, according to The Hill

What Carlson Said

Carlson said on his show that he was "not against" coronavirus vaccines "on principle" and stressed that "like every American, we are grateful."

However, he questioned why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is telling people to mask up and respect social distancing, even if they are vaccinated.

"If the vaccine is effective, there is no reason for people who have received the vaccine to wear masks or avoid physical contact. So maybe it doesn’t work and they’re simply not telling you that," Carlson speculated.

'Crazy Conspiracy Theory'

Fox News host Tucker Carlson speaks at Politicon.
Gettyimages | Rich Polk

Fauci dismissed Carlson's suggestions as conspiratorial, claiming that officials would not hide such information from the American public.

"That’s just a typical crazy conspiracy theory. Why would we not tell people if it doesn’t work?" the nation's top infectious diseases expert asked.

He added that the Fox News host's comments were counterproductive.

"I don’t want to get into arguments about Tucker Carlson, but to me it’s just counter to what we’re trying to accomplish to protect the safety and the health of the American public."

Fauci Says Everyone Should Get Vaccinated 

The use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was paused across the nation due to concerns about blood clots. But, according to Fauci, there is no reason to worry about the safety of coronavirus vaccines.

Noting that it is "understandable" that some want to "wait and see," Fauci pointed out that more than 120 million Americans have already received a COVID-19 vaccine.

"That’s a lot of people. How long do you want to wait and see?" Fauci asked.

“Almost half the country has received at least one dose. So I think we’ve had enough wait and see," he added.

Fauci Has Faced Criticism 

Fauci has faced intense criticism from Republican lawmakers and conservative media personalities. Notably, he has repeatedly clashed with GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

During a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee last month, Paul and Fauci argued over whether people should wear masks after being vaccinated against COVID-19, per CNN.

Earlier this month, in an interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto, Fauci dismissed GOP attacks as "bizarre," claiming that he has become a "symbol" of everything conservatives dislike about public health measures.