Dr. Anthony Fauci says Fox News should immediately fire host Jesse Watters after he made inflammatory remarks about the infectious diseases expert during a conservative conference this week.
What's a brief history here?
Watters on Monday made a speech at a Turning Point USA conference in which he said that Americans should confront Fauci in public and film it in what he said would be an "ambush" confrontation.
He said, “The kill shot, with an ambush — deadly, 'cause he doesn’t see it coming. This is when you say, ‘Dr. Fauci, you funded risky research at a sloppy Chinese lab, the same lab that sprung this pandemic on the world. You know why people don’t trust you, don’t you?’ Boom, he is dead! He is dead! He’s done!”
“You do that — 30 seconds, it’s all you need. Now you get that footage to us, you get it to Fox ... imagine Tucker Carlson teases that,” he said.
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What are the details?
Fauci told "New Day" co-anchor John Berman on Tuesday that Fox needs to fire Watters over the remarks.
Berman said, "Jesse Watters, who is a Fox News entertainer, was giving a speech to a conservative group where he talked about you and suggested to the crowd that they ambush you with what he said was some kind of rhetorical kill shot. That was his exact word.”
Berman added that he had no intention of running the footage — "because frankly I think it's dangerous" — and added, "I’m wondering, you know, how much that concerns you when you hear language like that about you and your well-being?”
Fauci condemned Watters' remarks as "horrible" and said that they're a mere "reflection of the craziness that goes on in society.”
"The only thing that I had ever done throughout these two years is to encourage people to practice good public health practices, to get vaccinated, to be careful in public settings, to wear a mask," Fauci complained. "And for that, you have some guy out there saying that people should be giving me a kill shot, to ambush me? I mean, what kind of craziness is there in society these days?"
He added, "That’s awful that he said that. And he’s going to go very likely unaccountable. I mean, whatever network he’s on is not going to do anything for him. I mean, that’s crazy. The guy should be fired on the spot!"
Neither Fox News nor Watters have spoken out about Fauci's remarks at the time of this reporting.
Anything else to know?
In 2020, Fauci said that critics have harassed him and his family, including even sending death threats.
At the time he said, "The very fact that a public health message, to save lives, triggers such venom and animosity to me that it results in real and credible threats to my life and my safety ... but it bothers me less than the hassling of my wife and my children.”