Infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci has addressed attacks made on his career and reputation by notorious anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who last month released the book “The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health.”
Speaking to Yahoo News, the director of the NIAID said, “it really is a shame that he is attacking me in my career,” when asked about RFK’s book not being “a flattering portrait of” his career.
“I think if you look at my career there are not a lot of people that would be attacking my career, but he seems to do that,” Fauci continued in the comments published earlier this week. “It’s very unfortunate because I don’t think he is inherently malicious. I just think he’s a very disturbed individual. And I … I don’t like to have to say that, but it’s very, very clear. And it’s a shame because he comes from such an extraordinarily distinguished family, many members of whom I know personally, and I was very close to Senator Ted Kennedy, who was such an extraordinary person and a real warrior for public health. And to have RFK Jr. just spouting things that make absolutely no sense.”
Fauci said that RFK’s comments, which have included unfounded and unsupported claims like Fauci is an investor in Moderna, something RFK claimed to Newsweek earlier this year, and which Fauci called “unequivocally and completely incorrect,” have a wider impact than on just the doctor.
“And the thing that makes it even more painful about it is that ultimately that is hurting people, that will cause disease and lose lives for the things he’s saying,” Fauci added. “So, I’m so sorry that he’s doing that not just because he’s attacking me – that seems to be the rage among some people – but because ultimately it is going to hurt people. So it’s really unfortunate that he’s doing that.”
Fauci’s comments came after he addressed a previous comment from RFK, Jr. that he met and spoke with Fauci at the Donald Trump White House in 2017.
“Well, I did not speak with RFK Jr. at the Trump White House. We invited him to the NIH, and he spoke to me and he spoke to Dr. Collins, the NIH director and several of us and gave a presentation that really was … just full of inaccuracies and distortions,” Fauci said.
RFK Jr. blamed Dr. Fauci for “catastrophic mismanagement” of the COVID-19 pandemic in a statement to Yahoo News late Tuesday, and for “adopting a militarized response to a public health crisis,” in response to Fauci’s comments.
“Dr. Fauci’s belief that, as a government official, he should be immune from criticism is contrary to our nation’s democratic traditions,” his statement to Yahoo News continued.
During the interview Fauci was asked if he and his family are still receiving death threats.
“Oh, the answer is yes. And it even gets accelerated when you have the inflammatory statements that are made like people like RFK Jr., and some of the Fox media personalities that unabashedly [are] making extraordinarily inflammatory statements that, in my mind, is strange that they go unchecked with no consequences for people to say that,” Fauci responded. “And when they do that publicly, that’s when I get more death threats and people harass me, my wife and my children. It’s a sad testimony on society that that is going on when a person who the only thing I’ve ever said or done is to encourage people to get vaccinated, to wear a mask and to do things that would be good for their health, the health of their family, and the health of community. So, to get villainized because of that – it’s a sad testimony on our society unfortunately.”