Fauci has been a target for both praise and ridicule throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as he has been the face of the government response. His role has seen him struggle to navigate the torrent of information and guidance that flows between the public and government, trying to defend “the science” amid various “conspiracy theories.”
However, he has positioned himself as on the side of “science, data and evidence” and those who “disagree” as conspiracy theorists.
“I have stood for always making science data and evidence, be what we guide ourselves by,” Fauci told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace. “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, and that’s understandable because what I do and I try very hard is to be guided by the truth,” he added. “And sometimes the truth becomes inconvenient for some people, so they react against me.”
His claim follows recent allegations that Fauci reportedly misled the Trump administration on gain-of-function research in China. The book, written by Australian reporter Sharri Markson, details how Fauci tried to convince White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to return funding to a research project in China, which was run by a U.S. nonprofit.
Fauci stressed during his FNS appearance that he’s “not comfortable” telling people what to do “under normal circumstances,” but “we are not in normal circumstances.”
“Take the police,” Fauci explained. “We know now the statistics: More police officers die of COVID than they do in other causes of death, so it doesn’t make any sense to not trying to protect yourself, as well as the colleagues that you work with.”
“So I think if we can get people to just think about that, think about the implications of not getting vaccinated,” he said.
Fauci continued to press the need for vaccines, especially in light of the new guidance from the Food and Drug Administration that endorsed Moderna booster shots six months after the second shot and a Johnson & Johnson booster after two months from the shot.
Concerns over a possible fifth wave have started to bubble up as the holiday season looms just two months away.