White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre condemned tech billionaire Elon Musk in response to a recent tweet calling for the prosecution of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and outgoing chief medical advisor to the president, who guided the U.S. pandemic response.
Musk, the new owner of Twitter, sent a controversial tweet from his official account on Sunday, writing: “My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci.”
The post received over 1.2 million likes and numerous comments of support from Twitter users, though there was a lot of pushback from the left.
My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2022
During a White House press briefing on Monday, Jean-Pierre was asked about the criticism of Fauci on social media.
“They are disgusting, and they are divorced from reality, and we will continue to call that out and be very clear about that,” the press secretary responded.
“We are fortunate that he has devoted his career and his life and his exceptional talent to America’s public health, and that’s what should be discussed right now,” Jean-Pierre added.
“That’s what we should be thankful to him about, and, again, these are incredibly dangerous and should be called out.”
Jean-Pierre is asked about @elonmusk calling for Fauci to be prosecuted:
"These personal attacks that we have been seeing are incredibly dangerous. They are disgusting and they are divorced from reality… We should be thankful to him." pic.twitter.com/lAadqXpPgQ
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) December 12, 2022
Musk later elaborated on his point in a reply to another leftist critic — astronaut Scott Kelly, brother of Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) — pointing out that Fauci had lied to Congress, and citing his role in the funding of gain-of-function research which led to the COVID pandemic and millions of deaths.
“Elon, please don’t mock and promote hate toward already marginalized and at-risk-of-violence members of the #LGBTQ+ community,” Kelly tweeted. “They are real people with real feelings. Furthermore, Dr Fauci is a dedicated public servant whose sole motivation was saving lives.”
In response, Musk tweeted: “I strongly disagree. Forcing your pronouns upon others when they didn’t ask, and implicitly ostracizing those who don’t, is neither good nor kind to anyone.”
“As for Fauci, he lied to Congress and funded gain-of-function research that killed millions of people,” he added. “Not awesome imo.”
I strongly disagree. Forcing your pronouns upon others when they didn’t ask, and implicitly ostracizing those who don’t, is neither good nor kind to anyone.
As for Fauci, he lied to Congress and funded gain-of-function research that killed millions of people. Not awesome imo.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 12, 2022
While Musk received significant backlash from the left for daring to criticize Fauci, other critics of the NIAID director spoke out in support of the tweet.
“Fauci’s resignation should not prevent a full-throated investigation into the origins of the pandemic,” replied Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). “He must be required to testify under oath regarding any discussions he participated in concerning the Wuhan lab leak. His policies destroyed lives.”