Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci resigned from his position as the government’s leading authority on infectious diseases. Still, high-profile detractors like Twitter founder Elon Musk have continued to criticize him. Despite the fact that their substance and significance are unknown, the rumored “Fauci Files,” which are believed to be internal Twitter records, will be released this week, Musk announced in a tweet on Sunday.
“I have no idea what [Musk]’s talking about. I mean, there’s a lot of misinformation, conspiracy theories, and disinformation going on,” Fauci said. “I have nothing to say to him. I don’t understand what he’s doing. It’s just unfortunate.”
Musk wrote in December, “My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci,” and he claimed to have found correspondence between Twitter executives and government health officials that dealt with how they handled the epidemic.
“I don’t have a clue of what he’s talking about,” Fauci told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett on this week’s episode of “The Takeout.” The interview was Fauci’s first since leaving his government post.
House Republicans, who can subpoena witnesses in the new Congress, have declared their want to look into how the Biden administration handled the pandemic. As a result, Fauci, a conservative hot potato, will almost certainly be asked to testify.
“I would willingly do that without any problem,” Fauci said, adding that he plans to retain legal counsel. “But I have nothing to hide. I could defend everything I’ve done.”
Fauci claimed that he and his family are still receiving death threats. The U.S. Marshals continue to support him with a security detail at public money.
“I’d hate to think for the rest of my life that I was going to have people who were crazy enough to want to harm me because I have done things that have saved millions of lives. That’s kind of — how do you get your arms around that?” he said.
Fauci is concerned about the most recent COVID subvariant, XBB 1.5, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report is currently responsible for 41% of cases that have been identified. As a result of the subvariant’s high contagiousness and people’s increased indoor activity during the winter, public health experts worry that the number of cases might rise quickly.
“We’re going to see an uptick in infections. What we’re also seeing is a bit of an uptick in hospitalizations,” Fauci said.
After China’s government loosened the strict COVID standards for the nation, the number of cases has increased. According to Fauci, there may have been a quarter billion infections in December alone. Still, exact numbers are hard to determine since the Chinese government is “extremely opaque” about disclosing statistics.
Fauci responded, “I think that there absolutely is a place for that,” when asked whether there should be travel limits for Americans wishing to visit China. Still, he added that he would leave travel advice to the State Department.