Fauci responds to Musk's Twitter-data leak threat
Former White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci has dismissed criticism from Twitter owner Elon Musk as 'disinformation' and 'conspiracy theories'. His remarks came after Musk hinted that documents related to Fauci could soon be released.
Last month, the billionaire tweeted “my pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci.” On January 1, Musk responded to a tweet that read “Waiting for… Fauci Files” by replying “later this week.”
“I have no idea what he’s talking about. I mean, there’s a lot of misinformation, conspiracy theories and disinformation going on,” Fauci said on Friday while appearing on CBS News’ podcast ‘The Takeout’. He added that he was not “concerned” about Musk’s tweets.
Asked about the ‘prosecute’ tweet, Fauci reiterated that he did not “have a clue” what Musk meant. “I have nothing to say to him. I don’t understand what he’s doing. It’s just unfortunate,” he added.
Musk, who bought Twitter last year and promised more transparency on how the platform operated, has published a series of internal documents that shed light on how the company had worked with law enforcement agencies and political operatives in order to suppress narratives considered to be disinformation.
Fauci, who stepped down as the head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) on December 31, had been the public face of the White House’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Republicans vowed to investigate Fauci for “unnecessarily” strict lockdown recommendations and suspicions that he lied about the origins of Covid. Fauci was also criticized for a research grant the US National Institute of Health (NIH) had given to a virology laboratory in Wuhan, the Chinese city where Covid was first detected.
Fauci defended the grant on CBS News, saying “collaborative research… has been something extremely beneficial to society in general.”
“A very small grant of about $120,000 a year was given to the Chinese, which has, in the matter of fact, resulted in research that was able to definitively prove that the original SARS-CoV-1 went from a bat to a civet cat to a human,” Fauci said, referring to an outbreak in the early 2000s.