Dr. Anthony Fauci claimed Wednesday that political attacks against him were really just thinly veiled attacks against science.
Fauci joined NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press Daily” to discuss recent criticisms against Fauci following the release of a number of his emails sent and received during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s very dangerous … lot of what you’re seeing as attacks on me quite frankly are attacks on science because all of the things that I have spoken about consistently from the very beginning have been fundamentally based on science,” Fauci said.
“As a public health official and scientist, you’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you’re attacking science … You have to be asleep not to see that … Science and the truth are being attacked.”
The show aired Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s criticism of Fauci’s email correspondence with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The senator claimed the email trove contained evidence Zuckerberg and Fauci attempted to control information users saw about the novel coronavirus.
“I have no idea what she’s talking about,” Fauci responded. “And I’m sorry, I don’t want to be pejorative against a U.S. Senator but I have no idea what she’s talking about.”
Fauci went on to claim that he had aways followed the science — which he said changed over time. His policies changed in accordance with new information, he added.
“As a scientist, as a health official, when those data change, when you get more information, it’s essential that you change your position,” he said.
But Fauci appeared to admit that not every statement he made was on par with what the science eventually showed as data was always evolving.
For example, when Fauci told people not to wear masks he was weighing their relative ineffectiveness outside a hospital environment along with the likelihood of a shortage for health care workers who would need them the most.
He said, “That issue with masks is — people want to fire me or put me in jail for what I’ve done. Namely, follow the science.”
“It wasn’t only me,” Fauci continued. “I’m picked out as the villain. It was the surgeon general … and the entire CDC was saying the same thing.”
“It’s preposterous, Chuck, totally preposterous.”