Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, dismissed his critics Sunday as people who embrace "conspiracy theories" and "deny reality."
What are the details?
At the end of an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," host Chris Wallace asked Fauci why he has become "so controversial," and urged Fauci to introspectively examine whether he has contributed to becoming a polarizing figure.
Fauci, however, did not take the road of humility. Instead, Fauci said he could not think of a single reason why he is polarizing.
"Well, I'm not so sure I could answer the latter because I can't think of anything," Fauci said, "but I'm sure some people will."
The infectious diseases expert then suggested that his critics, or people who disagree with him, "deny reality" and embrace "conspiracy theories," but those who agree with him are "guided by the truth."
"I have stood for always making science, data, and evidence be what we guide ourselves by. And I think people who feel differently, who have conspiracy theories, who deny reality that's looking them straight in the eye, those are people that don't particularly care for me," Fauci said.
"And that's understandable because what I do, and I try very hard, is to be guided by the truth. And sometimes, the truth becomes inconvenient for some people, so they react against me. That just is what it is. There's not much I can do about that," he added.
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Conspiracy theorists and reality deniers?
Perhaps some introspection would pay dividends for Fauci.
Most of his critics are not embracing conspiracy theories, nor are they denying reality. However, they are upset at Fauci for continually moving the goal posts on when American life can return to normal.
In fact, Fauci even admitted in an interview with the New York Times last year to deceiving the American public about COVID-19 herd immunity. Fauci said he slowly increased his prediction for the herd immunity threshold to convince more Americans to get vaccinated.
Now, nearly one year after COVID vaccines were given emergency authorization, Fauci has said it remains "too soon to tell" whether Americans should gather with their families for Christmas.
Fauci's critics are also upset by his apparent rejection of American freedom.
"I think what people have to appreciate, that indeed you do have personal liberties for yourself and you should be in control of that," Fauci said recently. "But you are a member of society, and as a member of society, reaping all of the benefits of being a member of society, you have a responsibility to society."
"I think each of us, particularly in the context of a pandemic that's killing millions of people, you have got to look at it and say, 'There comes a time when you do have to give up what you consider your individual right of making your own decision for the greater good of society,'" he explained.