Megyn Kelly ruthlessly attacked COVIC czar Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday after Fauci said he would ‘consider’ testifying in front of a Republican-held Congress over his handling of the pandemic, telling him ‘f**k you.’
Kelly kicked off her podcast, The Megyn Kelly Show, with a scathing monologue about Fauci’s recent ambivalence about a potential congressional subpoena, saying ‘He sounds like he’s been invited to afternoon tea at one of our houses.’
She mocked Fauci’s sentiment, mimicked his comments and said ‘only if it’s oversight because what I experienced was personal attacks.’
Kelly then broke character and said ‘F**k you, Dr. Fauci!’
‘You don’t get to say whether you go,’ she continued. ‘You get a congressional subpoena, you show up, or you get the Steve Bannon treatment.’
Kelly, a former Fox News and NBC Today host, said Fauci needed to be taken to task over COVID lockdowns which crippled businesses, amid claims they made little difference to reducing the overall death counts.
She also condemned his links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology – where COVID is feared to have leaked from – and funding of so-called ‘gain of function’ research there, which makes viruses more powerful in a bid to find treatments for them.
Kelly said Fauci should also be taken to task over his refusal to brook any arguments over the efficacy of COVID vaccines and boosters, which have proven ineffective against the latest strains of the virus.
Megyn Kelly kicked off her podcast on Wednesday with a fiery rant about Dr. Fauci’s recent comments and told him ‘f**k you’ for only considering testifying before a Republican Congress
Fauci is leaving his role in the Biden administration before Biden’s term is up, prompting suspicion from across the aisle
PETA protestors celebrate Fauci leaving his positions in front of the Department of Health and Human Services
Bannon faces two years in jail after he was convicted last month of two counts of contempt of congress for refusing to appear before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the US Capitol.
Fauci made the comments on Tuesday when he appeared on Fox News to push back on accusations he is stepping away from his role to avoid an investigation, and said he has ‘nothing to hide.’
Fauci was then interviewed by Fox host Neil Cavuto, and said he was ‘not even a little bit’ concerned about a possible investigation if Republicans were to take power in the midterms.
‘I have nothing to hide,’ said Fauci, who currently serves as the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and as chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.
‘I can defend everything I’ve done and every decision I’ve made,’ said Fauci. ‘So, I’m not afraid of that at all.’
Republicans have put him on the top of their witness list should they win control of the House and Senate in November’s election, having mooted plans to launch a probe into Fauci’s handling of the virus crisis.
Fauci also took time to address rumors he is only retiring for a $400,000 pension, and laughed at the idea, saying ‘I don’t know’ where that number came from.
Dr. Anthony Fauci accused Republicans of assassinating his character but said he would testify before Congress if they called on him to do so.
Fauci has clashed with Republicans in past congressional hearings such as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (above), who said Fauci’s retirement will not save him from testifying
During the pandemic, Fauci repeatedly clashed with GOP lawmakers like Senator Rand Paul over COVID mitigation measurers.
Republicans saw the infectious disease expert as a symbol of lockdowns while Fauci argued he was following scientific recommendations.
He argued the GOP has engaged more in character assassination than oversight of the government’s response to the pandemic.
‘What has happened up to now is more of a character assassination than it is oversight. So sure, I’d be happy to cooperate so long as we make it something that is a dignified oversight, which it should be and not just bringing up ridiculous things and attacking my character. That’s not oversight,’ he told CNN’s New Day earlier Tuesday.
Republicans on Monday warned Fauci that his retirement would not stop them from calling him before Congress. They plan to jump start their own investigations of the origins of the coronavirus pandemic as well as the U.S. Government’s response should they prevail in the midterms. The GOP is favored to win the House.
Kentucky Republican GOP Sen. Rand Paul, in particular, has had some memorable tangles with Fauci in past hearings.
He said on Monday that Fauci will be asked to testify under oath despite his retirement.
‘Fauci’s resignation will not prevent a full-throated investigation into the origins of the pandemic. He will be asked to testify under oath regarding any discussions he participated in concerning the lab leak,’ Paul tweeted.
Other Republicans vowed to do the same.
‘Dr. Fauci is conveniently resigning from his position in December before House Republicans have an opportunity to hold him accountable for destroying our country over these past three years. This guy is a coward,’ tweeted Republican Rep. Andy Biggs, who sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform committee.
‘Make no mistake, my colleagues and I will hold Dr. Fauci accountable whether or not he remains in public office,’ he added.
Republican Rep. James Comer, who will chair the Oversight panel if Republicans win control of Congress in November, tweeted that ‘Retirement can’t shield Dr. Fauci from congressional oversight.’
On Monday, Fauci announced he will leave government service in December to ‘pursue the next chapter’ of his career.
Fauci, 81, has hinted for months retirement was on his mind but never gave an end-date for his public service until this week.
‘While I am moving on from my current positions, I am not retiring,’ Fauci said in a statement.
‘After more than 50 years of government service, I plan to pursue the next phase of my career while I still have so much energy and passion for my field. I want to use what I have learned as NIAID Director to continue to advance science and public health and to inspire and mentor the next generation of scientific leaders as they help prepare the world to face future infectious disease threats,’ he said.
Biden said praised Fauci, saying the doctor has saved ‘countless lives,’ which includes decades of work on infection diseases including the AIDS crisis, Ebola, Zika and the coronavirus pandemic.
‘I’ve been able to call him at any hour of the day for his advice as we’ve tackled this once-in-a-generation pandemic. His commitment to the work is unwavering, and he does it with an unparalleled spirit, energy, and scientific integrity,’ Biden said in a statement.
Fauci didn’t say what was next for him but ruled out a job in the pharmaceutical industry. He said he’s been working on a memoir but did not have a publisher.
‘So long as I’m healthy, which I am, and I’m energetic, which I am, and I’m passionate, which I am, I want to do some things outside of the realm of the federal government,’ he told The New York Times.
Fauci became a household name during Donald Trump’s presidency when he clashed with the then-president and members of the Republican Party on how to handle the covid pandemic.
Eventually sidelined by Trump’s administration, he continued to speak out, advocating for face masks and social distancing before vaccines were widely available while Republicans painted him as symbol of lockdowns.
President Biden praised Dr. Fauci’s work on the covid pandemic: ‘His commitment to the work is unwavering, and he does it with an unparalleled spirit, energy, and scientific integrity,’ Biden said; above the two men at the White House in November 2021
Dr. Anthony Fauci became a household name during the covid pandemic and he clashed repeatedly with then President Donald Trump; above Trump and Fauci at the White House in March 2020
Fauci said he considered stepping down after Trump left the White House, but did not want to turn down Biden’s request to stay on during the covid pandemic.
‘So I stayed on for a year, thinking that at the end of the year, it would be the end of Covid, and as it turned out, you know, that’s not exactly what happened,’ Fauci told the Times. ‘And now it’s my second year here, and I just realized that there are things that I want to do.’
The clashes with Republicans, particularly with former President Donald Trump, led to threats on his life.
A man who sent emails to Fauci threatening to kill him and his family was sentenced this month to more than three years in prison.
Fauci has a protective security detail that he is likely to still need when he leaves the government.
‘I had to oppose a president of the United States. That is not the easiest thing in the world to do, but I did it,’ he told the Post.
Trump and Fauci initially got along but grew apart as the then-president wanted to end the nation-wide shutdown while Fauci advocated to keep mitigation measures like face masks and social distancing.
Fauci also contradicted the president when Trump said hydroxychloroquine was a promising treatment, Fauci said it didn’t show signs of working. Trump and his team eventually released a memo detailing why they said Fauci was wrong about the pandemic.
‘I was put in a very unusual circumstance where the country was scared, they really wanted someone who was steady and honest and showed integrity and stuck with the facts, and I became the symbol of that,’ Fauci said. ‘And when you become a symbol for a certain segment of people, the people against that, you become the villain to them.’
But there has been some indications that the government response to the pandemic was wrong. A report on the CDC last week found the agency was slow to respond to the pandemic and gave confusing information on issues like face masks.
Fauci became Biden’s top medical adviser when Biden entered the White House. He’s also been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for 38 years.
Biden said Fauci has saved countless lives during his work on infectious diseases.
‘Because of Dr. Fauci’s many contributions to public health, lives here in the United States and around the world have been saved. As he leaves his position in the U.S. Government, I know the American people and the entire world will continue to benefit from Dr. Fauci’s expertise in whatever he does next. Whether you’ve met him personally or not, he has touched all Americans’ lives with his work. I extend my deepest thanks for his public service. The United States of America is stronger, more resilient, and healthier because of him,’ the president said in his statement.
For his contributions, Fauci was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in June 2008
Dr. Anthony Fauci with his wife and daughters
‘I still have so much energy and passion for my field’: Fauci’s statement on stepping down – but insists he is not retiring
I am announcing today that I will be stepping down from the positions of Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, as well as the position of Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden. I will be leaving these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career.
It has been the honor of a lifetime to have led the NIAID, an extraordinary institution, for so many years and through so many scientific and public health challenges. I am very proud of our many accomplishments. I have worked with — and learned from — countless talented and dedicated people in my own laboratory, at NIAID, at NIH and beyond. To them I express my abiding respect and gratitude.
Over the past 38 years as NIAID Director, I have had the enormous privilege of serving under and advising seven Presidents of the United States, beginning with President Ronald Reagan, on newly emerging and re-emerging infectious disease threats including HIV/AIDS, West Nile virus, the anthrax attacks, pandemic influenza, various bird influenza threats, Ebola and Zika, among others, and, of course, most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. I am particularly proud to have served as the Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden since the very first day of his administration.
While I am moving on from my current positions, I am not retiring. After more than 50 years of government service, I plan to pursue the next phase of my career while I still have so much energy and passion for my field. I want to use what I have learned as NIAID Director to continue to advance science and public health and to inspire and mentor the next generation of scientific leaders as they help prepare the world to face future infectious disease threats.
Over the coming months, I will continue to put my full effort, passion and commitment into my current responsibilities, as well as help prepare the Institute for a leadership transition. NIH is served by some of the most talented scientists in the world, and I have no doubt that I am leaving this work in very capable hands.
Thanks to the power of science and investments in research and innovation, the world has been able to fight deadly diseases and help save lives around the globe. I am proud to have been part of this important work and look forward to helping to continue to do so in the future.
NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website.
Fauci joined the National Institutes of Health in 1968, when Lyndon Johnson was president.
He was born in Brooklyn in 1940, the son of pharmacy owners whose parents migrated to the US from Italy.
President George W. Bush, who in 2008 awarded Fauci the Presidential Medal of Freedom, noted that even as a boy he showed an independent streak: In a neighborhood full of Brooklyn Dodgers fans, Fauci rooted for the Yankees.
And despite being short in stature, Fauci captained the basketball team at the prestigious Regis High School, which he attended on a scholarship.
He went on to College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, before completing an MD at Cornell University.
‘My interest in medicine stems from my keen interest in people, in asking questions and solving problems,’ Fauci told the NIH Historical Office in a 1989 interview.
Fauci runs long distances , and completed the 1984 Army Corps Marathon in 3 hours 37 minutes.
He became head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1984, when the nation was in the throes of the AIDS crisis.
He’s recalled the huge frustration of caring for dying patients in the NIH’s hospital with nothing to offer.
After hours, he’d chat with then-Surgeon General C. Everett Koop about what scientists were learning about AIDS, influencing Koop’s famous 1986 report educating Americans about the disease.
Early on in the AIDS crisis, Fauci clashed with activists who wanted patients to have access to experimental drugs. Fauci, and many other scientists, didn’t want to change the research process out of fear it would compromise scientific integrity.
Activists staged ‘die-ins’ in front of his NIH office.
He said he eventually realized the activists were right, meeting with activists and working on a parallel track where patients could access the experimental medication while a randomized controlled group would determine a drug’s efficacy.
Fauci, under President George W. Bush, Fauci was one of the architects of PEPFAR, the multibillion-dollar global HIV/AIDS program that has saved millions of lives.
In 1985, at the age of 44, Fauci tied the knot to nurse Christine Grady. The pair went on to have three daughters: Jennifer, Megan and Alison.