FOX News host Tucker Carlson spewed red hat bait in a whining, sarcastic rant meant to delegitimize Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday night after Fauci took a cautious approach to reopening schools and the economy amid the coronavirus crisis.
“Fauci says the children must stay home or countless people could die, that’s the message,” said Carlson. “It’s time to ask a very simple question: how does he know this exactly? Is Tony Fauci right about the science? Do we have any particular reason to think he is right? Right now there is an awful lot of evidence indicating that America should cautiously reopen.”
Carlson pointed to the fact that Sweden never closed and many schools in Europe have reopened. Carlson then mocked Fauci’s statement that we don’t know whether “children are completely immune to the virus.”
But Fauci actually told Rand Paul “we better be careful, that we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects” based on the fact that “right now, children presenting with COVID-19 who actually have a very strange inflammatory syndrome, very similar to Kawasaki syndrome.”
But Carlson went on, also ignoring the fact that children come into contact with adults who are far more susceptible: “Complete immunity? Since when is that a requirement? Children are not completely immune indeed they’re vulnerable to countless diseases many of which are far more dangerous than this one. The flu, for example, is much more dangerous for young people than the Wuhan coronavirus. That’s not a talking point. It’s factually true.”
Carlson then showed Senator Rand Paul’s remarks to Fauci, and mocked the fact that Paul actually showed a modicum of respect to the nation’s leading expert on contagious disease.
Quipped Carlson: “Every sentence to Dr. Fauci must be prefaced with ‘as much as I respect you.’ That’s required by federal law. But Senator Paul was on to something. A lot of wrong predictions have come out of Washington on the question of the coronavirus and quite a few of them came from Dr. Fauci himself.”
Carlson then cherry-picked some clips that had run on FOX News about shaking hands and social networks that he characterized as “buffoon-level stuff,” adding, “we’re not doing this to mock the guy.” He also played a clip from January, when there was one known case of coronavirus in the U.S. of Fauci saying Americans shouldn’t be worried at that time.
“This might be painful for some people, it’s kind of like learning a religion is fake,” said Carlson. “But this religion is fake! It shouldn’t be a religion in the first place. It’s supposed to be science. You are supposed to admit when you are wrong and you are supposed to be totally transparent with your reasoning.”
“Anybody who talks as much as Anthony Fauci does is apt to say some stupid things,” Carlson added. “The point is — is this the guy into whom you want to vest all of your trust? Is this the guy you want to chart the future of the country? Maybe not. This is a very serious matter, the decisions we’re making right now. Tony Fauci has not been elected to anything. He’s had the same job for nearly 40 years. That means the majority of American voters never even indirectly picked him for the role he has now. This is not the result of any kind of democratic process at work at all. Yet, in the last four months, Dr. Fauci has become one of the most powerful people in the world.”
“Some, particularly in our media and in our Democratic establishment, are clamoring to give Dr. Fauci even more power,” Carlson continued. “Why? Some people think that he should be dictator for the duration of this crisis. That’s insanity! Dr. Fauci, like every other human being, is flawed. He says things that are wise, he says things that are profoundly silly. He is not, and no one should is, the one person who should be in charge when it comes to making long-term health recommendations. This guy, Fauci, may be even more off-base than your average epidemiologist. Plenty of doctors by the way think it’s time for most, even all the country, to cautiously reopen.”
Carlson later welcomed conservative activist Ned Ryun on the show to trash Fauci, and called the doctor, “The chief buffoon of the professional class.”
Carlson did get objections from Republicans after his rant.
Liz Cheney tweeted: “Dr. Fauci is one of the finest public servants we have ever had. He is not a partisan. His only interest is saving lives. We need his expertise and his judgment to defeat this virus. All Americans should be thanking him. Every day.”