Twitter CEO Elon Musk called on Sunday to prosecute Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser who has led the US response to the COVID-19 pandemic since it began under the Trump administration, and prompted a quick reaction for his comment.
“My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci,” Musk said on Twitter. He later shared a meme edited to show Fauci telling Biden, “Just another lockdown, my king.”
Lawmakers and other officials have jumped to Fauci’s defense online.
“I’m a huge fan of Dr Fauci and how he calmly guided our country through the crisis. Re Musk’s tweet? Courting Holocaust deniers doesn’t sound like a smart business strategy, but the problem is this: could you just leave a good man alone in your seemingly endless quest for attention? Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said on Twitter.
Representative Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) wrote on Twitter“This is America. You can select any pronoun, please. But Anthony Fauci has probably saved more human lives than any living person in the world. Shame on you.”
Former CIA director John Brennan called Fauci a “national hero” and accused Musk of stirring up hatred.
“Dr. Fauci is a national hero who will be remembered for generations for his innate goodness and his many contributions to public health. Despite the success of your business, you will be remembered most for fueling public hatred and divisions. You might have money, but you don’t have class,” Brennan said in answer to Musk.
Rep. Ritchie Torres (DN.Y.) said Musk ‘wants to criminalize Anthony Fauci because he disagrees with him’ and attacked Twitter CEO for hypocrisy in his free speech claims .
Since Musk’s controversial takeover of the social media platform, concerns about the moderation of content on the site have grown, with reports of an increase in racist and anti-Semitic posts on the site.
Musk has tried to position himself as a champion of free speech and a spokesperson for the public, using the Latin phrase ‘Vox Populi, Vox Dei’, which means ‘The voice of the people is the voice of God’ . He also asked users about reinstating former President Trump’s banned Twitter account and whether suspended users should be granted “amnesty.”
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Musk called concern over the virus “stupid”, and after taking over the company in late October this year, he removed Twitter’s policies regarding misinformation about the COVID-19.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) replied to to Musk’s comment on Fauci on Sunday, writing, “I affirm your pronouns Elon.”
Greene’s personal Twitter account was banned in January for violating COVID-19 misinformation policies, but Musk reinstated it last month in his amnesty ruling.
“Fauci’s resignation should not prevent a thorough investigation into the origins of the pandemic. He should be required to testify under oath regarding any discussion he participated in regarding the Wuhan lab leak. His policies have destroyed lives,” wrote Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in response at Musk’s post.
Fauci is preparing to step down from government duties at the end of the year and has long said he is unconcerned by growing calls from Republicans to investigate him over the US handling of the pandemic.
“I have nothing to hide at all, despite accusations that I am hiding something. I have nothing that I cannot clearly explain to the country and justify,” Fauci told The Hill last month.
In his last appearance in the White House briefing room a few weeks ago, Fauci lamented the partisan divide that has complicated the country’s response to the COVID-19 virus.
“As a doctor, it hurts me because I don’t want to see anyone get infected. I don’t want to see anyone hospitalized. And I don’t want to see anyone die from COVID. Whether you’re a far-right Republican or a far-left Democrat makes no difference to me,” Fauci said.
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