Dr. Anthony Fauci said he considers “ridiculous” attacks on him from Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and other extremists as a “badge of honor.”
Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, explained the absurdity of the slings to MSNBC’s Ari Melber on Tuesday.
“I’m trying to save lives and the people who weaponize lies are killing people,” he said. “So the only question I have is that when you show Tucker Carlson and (former Trump White House trade adviser) Peter Navarro criticizing me, I consider that a badge of honor.”
“They always throw up those people that make those ridiculous statements, you know, they’re telling people to do things that they’re going to die from and they’re telling me I should go to jail. As they say in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn, ‘Give me a break will you?’” he added.
Carlson, a confessed liar, has repeatedly amplified coronavirus and vaccine conspiracy theories, and misinformation on his widely watched show.
Fauci wasn’t bothered by the polarizing response he draws on social media, he said, calling “the praise or the arrows and slings” as “really irrelevant.”
“I’m not in it for a popularity contest,” Fauci told Melber. “I’ve devoted my entire professional career of 50 years to try and essentially safeguard and preserve the health and the lives of the American people and as an infectious disease doctor who deals with outbreak, that gets really extended to the rest of the world. That’s what I do.”
Watch the video here:
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.