Fauci Fires Back, Says Fox News Host 'Should Be Fired On the Spot' for Violent 'Kill Shot' Rhetoric
During a Monday appearance at Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest conference, "The Five" co-host Jesse Watters encouraged a group of young conservatives to confront Dr. Anthony Fauci about the NIH allegedly funding "gain-of-function" research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Watters said footage of such a confrontation would be a "kill shot."
Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president, and top US immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), stated on Tuesday that Fox News should promptly deliver a pink slip to Watters over his incendiary "kill shot" rhetoric.
"That just is such a reflection of the craziness that goes on in society," Fauci told CNN's John Berman. The latter refused to broadcast Watters' statement in full.
"The only thing that I have ever done, throughout these two years, is to encourage people to practice good public health practices: to be vaccinated; to be careful in public settings; to wear a mask," the chief medical adviser to president said.
"That's awful that he said that," Fauci said of Watters. "He's gonna go—very likely—unaccountable. Whatever network he's on is not going to do anything for him [...] the guy should be fired on the spot."
On Monday, Watters addressed a crowd of young conservatives, encouraging them to go for a rhetorical "kill shot" against Fauci—the nation's top immunologist and director of the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases—by pressing him about allegations that the NIH funded "gain-of-function" research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
"Now you go in for the kill shot. The kill shot—with an ambush? Deadly," Watters told his audience.
He also urged the young conservatives present to record a verbal encounter with Fauci so that it could be broadcast by Fox News opinion host Tucker Carlson and other right-wing media, such as Breitbart and the Daily Caller.
"Get us that! That's what we want," Watters declared. "That changes the whole conversation of the country."
Despite the uproar surrounding Watters' rhetoric, it appears unlikely that Fox News will take action against Watters after the conservative cable news channel defended him in a statement:
"Based on watching the full clip and reading the entire transcript, it’s more than clear that Jesse Watters was using a metaphor for asking hard-hitting questions to Dr. Fauci about gain-of-function research and his words have been twisted completely out of context."
Late last month, Fox Nation host Lara Logan also received blowback from Fauci and the public after she compared the top US infectious disease expert and chief White House medical officer to Joseph Mengele, a 20th-century Nazi doctor at the Auschwitz extermination camp whose murderous actions led him to be widely referred to as the "Angel of Death."
30 November 2021, 18:07 GMT
"And I am talking about people all across the world are saying this," Logan claimed.
Days after her remarks, Fauci told MSNBC's Chris Hayes that he was "astounded" that the Fox network had failed to take action.
"What I find striking, Chris, is how she gets no discipline whatsoever from the Fox network—how they can let her say that with no comment and no disciplinary action," he said.