- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he doesn’t pay a lot of attention to Elon Musk and his musings, but he does feel the Twitter CEO is putting his safety at risk.

“Of course it’s at risk, that’s why I have armed federal agents with me all the time,” Dr. Fauci, who retired this month after decades at the National Institutes of Health, told the journal Nature.

Dr. Fauci was responding to tweets from Mr. Musk that suggested Dr. Fauci had something to do with the origins of COVID-19 through federal grants that supported bat research in China and a virology lab in Wuhan, where the pandemic started in late 2019.

“My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci,” Mr. Musk tweeted over the weekend, sparking anger from persons who feared the message put the doctor at risk and simultaneously mocked gender-fluid persons.

Mr. Musk also posted a meme of Dr. Fauci advising Mr. Biden “one more lockdown, my king.”

Dr. Fauci told Nature that dust-up isn’t worth his time.

SEE ALSO: Virus hunter for EcoHealth Alliance says COVID-19 leaked from Chinese lab

“I don’t even feel I need to respond,” he said.

He said the message, however, “stirs a lot of hate in people who have no idea why they’re hating; they’re hating because somebody [famous] is tweeting about it.”

Republicans have sparred with Dr. Fauci throughout the pandemic and say they plan to call him out of retirement to Capitol Hill to testify about COVID-19.

Lawmakers accuse him of being too quick to recommend lockdown policies during the pandemic and want to learn more about U.S. grant funding in Wuhan, after intelligence reports failed to determine if the virus started in nature or was manmade.

Dr. Fauci has said he is open to an exploration of COVID-19 but insists the work done through federal grants didn’t have biological ties to the circulating virus. He said he has nothing to hide and is willing to testify.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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