Fauci blasts ‘preposterous’ Covid conspiracies, accuses critics of ‘attacks on science’

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a White House press briefing, at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House January 21, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong | Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday lashed out at critics calling for his ouster, blasting their “preposterous” and “painfully ridiculous” attacks and defending his record as a leading official battling the coronavirus pandemic.

“Attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science,” Fauci said in an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.

Fauci, the White House’s chief medical advisor, pulled few punches as he directly rebutted critics who have attacked his prior remarks on the origins of the virus and on wearing masks to prevent transmission, along with a raft of conspiracy theories.

“If you go through each and every one of them, you can explain and debunk it immediately,” Fauci said. “I mean, every single one.”

Fauci told Todd that his views on the origins of the coronavirus have not changed, even as the theory of a lab-leak pandemic has recently become more mainstream.

Saying that a natural-origin scenario is more likely “doesn’t mean there is a closed mind to it being a leak,” Fauci said, “even though many people feel, myself included, that still the most likely origin is a natural one.”

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.

(With Inputs from cnbc)

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