Fauci made his remarks while appearing on Tuesday night’s episode of The Beat with Ari Melber, where he made it clear that he doesn’t waste time considering whether or not the internet likes him or not. His concern is stopping diseases like the coronavirus pandemic, which has continued to ravage the United States thanks to a deadly combination of the Delta variant and vaccine hesitancy caused by right-wing conspiracy theories. On that topic, Fauci didn’t mince words. Via Mediaite:
“The praise or the arrows and slings are irrelevant. I do what science drives you to do, and that’s what I do. I’m not in it for a popularity contest. I’m trying to save lives. The people who weaponize lies are killing people. So the only question I have is that, when you show Tucker Carlson and Peter Navarro criticizing me, I consider that a badge of honor.”
Carlson has been a consistent source for spreading doubt about the COVID vaccines. The Fox News host has gone so far as to call vaccine mandates a “Satanism-inspired plot,” and he was notably obsessed with promoting the highly questionable anecdote about Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend’s swollen testicles. However, for all of Carlson’s talk about the dangers of the vaccine, a recent Fox News event featuring the host required proof of vaccination. Funny how that works.