"My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci," Musk tweeted on Sunday.
Even the White House publicly condemned Musk for his tweet.
"They are disgusting, and they are divorced from reality, and we will continue to call that out and be very clear about that," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Monday. "These [remarks] are incredibly dangerous and should be called out."
How did Dr. Fauci respond?
Speaking with David Axelrod on his podcast, Fauci condemned Musk for instigating a "cesspool of interaction."
"I don't respond to him. I don't pay any attention to him because that's merely a distraction," Fauci told Axelrod. "And if you get drawn into that, and I have to be honest, that cesspool of interaction, it's — there's no value added to that. It doesn't help anything."
Hear Fauci's response to Elon Musk's attackswww.youtube.com
Axelrod's full interview will not release until Thursday.
But in an interview with CNN anchor Erin Burnett, Axelrod explained that Fauci is eager to blame the erosion of political discourse on social media — which Musk just so happens to have a hand in.
"[W]hen it came to the political discourse, he said there's been an erosion. And he lays a lot of it on social media," Axelrod explained.
"And, of course, he's been in the middle of this. He was targeted all throughout the pandemic for the decisions that he advised and the advice he was giving to policymakers about how he should proceed to deal with that pandemic, and to the point where he had significant security threats that required round-the-clock security, which he says in this podcast that is going to have to continue after he leaves his post at the end of this month," he explained.
Fauci reiterated his sentiment in an interview with Nature.
"I don’t pay attention to that, and I don’t feel I need to respond," he told the magazine. "I don’t tweet. I don’t have a Twitter account. A lot of that stuff is just a cesspool of misinformation, and I don’t waste a minute worrying about it."
Still, Fauci suggested he believes Musk's criticism underscores the safety threat against him.
"Of course it’s at risk," he said of his safety. "That’s why I have armed federal agents with me all the time. That stirs up a lot of hate in people who have no idea why they’re hating — they’re hating because somebody like that is tweeting about it."