White House attacks Elon Musk for ‘dangerous’ and ‘disgusting’ Fauci tweet

In a tweet, the billionaire wrote: ‘My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci’

Emily Atkinson
Tuesday 13 December 2022 12:58 GMT
Twitter employees film themselves as they count down to being fired

Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s public degredation of the most senior health official in the US has been dubbed “dangerous” and “disgusting” by the White House.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted Mr Musk should be called out for his online condemnation of Anthony Fauci, who was instrumental in steering the country through the early stages of the pandemic.

Dr Fauci is preparing to retire from government work after more than a fifty years of service at the end of the month.

Over the weekend, the billionaire had tweeted: “My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci.”

Some 184,600 retweets and 1.2m likes later – ranks populated by known Covid skeptics and critics of Mr Fauci, such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia – Mr Musk replied to his own tweet, saying: “Truth resonates.”

Addressing his comments on Monday, Ms Jean-Pierre said: “They are disgusting, and they are divorced from reality, and we will continue to call that out and be very clear about that.”

She then went on to praise Mr Fauci’s handling of public heath crises, including the coronavirus pandemic.

“Dr Fauci has served under seven Republican and Democratic presidents, we cannot forget that he has given his almost entire career to civil service,” she said.

“His work on infectious disease from HIV Aids to COVID has saved countless lives and... we are fortunate he has devoted his career and his life and his exceptional talent to America’s public health.”

Yesterday, the veteran health official told reporter Max Kozlov of the science magazine Nature that he was not bothered by Mr Musk’s attack.

“I don’t pay attention to that, Max, and I don’t even feel I need to respond,” Dr Fauci said. “A lot of that stuff is just a cesspool of misinformation, and I don’t waste a minute worrying about it.”

As well as working to inflame far right-wing criticism of Mr Fauci’s pandemic approach, Mr Musk’s tweet also mocked the increasingly common practice of people explicitly stating their preferred gender pronouns, a practice aimed at ensuring that people are not misgendered.

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