If there is anything the world is fascinated by, it is the state of American politics.
From memes to severe criticism, there has yet to be a day where someone in the political field is not trending on Twitter.
On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that Fox News host Jesse Watters should be condemned for his use of violent language at a conservative conference, where he encouraged attendees to ambush him with an interview.
Fauci, the immunologist, currently serving as Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden, told CNN that Watters should be fired for his speech.
Since his days as the advisor to every president since Ronald Reagan, the scientist and immunologist is no stranger to criticism from the right.
Media outlets across the country have heavily criticized Watters’ comments.
Jesse Watters – Fox News’ Favorite Asset
Jesse Watters first made a name for himself through his appearances on Fox News’s The O’Reilly Factor in 2004.
The show consisted of conservative commentators, led by Bill O’Reilly, who discussed current events and debated political issues with guests.
It ended in 2017 when O’Reilly was fired after allegations of sexual harassment were made public.
Watters debuted his own monthly news show, Watters’ World, in 2015. In January 2017, it was changed to a weekly broadcast.
His supposed ambush of Fauci is not the first in Watters’ repertoire.
In 2009 he came under fire for an ambush interview of journalist Amanda Terkel on The O’Reilly Factor.
Terkel was on vacation when Watters and a cameraman followed and questioned her about an article she had written in which she criticized O’Reilly.
Watters made no move to apologize at the time and several years later told journalist Ryan Grim: “I ambushed her because O’Reilly told me to get her because she said some bad shit.”
A video of Watters taking Grim’s phone went viral as the two sparred for the phone. Addressing the incident, Watters appeared upset about being ambushed by Grim, which Terkel found surprising considering that was his personal mode of attack.
In October 2016, a segment of Watters’ World made the rounds on Twitter.
Watters was accused of racist behavior towards the Asian American community in the segment. He was filmed in New York City’s Chinatown, aggressively questioning Chinese Americans about their knowledge of karate – Japanese martial art – and asking about fabricated customs.
New York City Mayor de Blasio said the remarks made by Watters were “vile, racist behavior” and had “no place in [the] city.”
Watters and the show were condemned by the Asian American Journalists Association, who issued a statement saying:
“We should be far beyond tired, racist stereotypes and targeting an ethnic group for humiliation and objectification on the basis of their race.”
Watters’ attempt at an apology was heavily scrutinized, yet neither he nor Fox News made an effort to support the Asian American community.
Fox News’s support of Watters has been evident of the network’s reliance on the controversial content to keep people engaged, whether or not they support any of the channel’s content.
His Plans To Ambush Fauci
At Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest conference on Monday, Watters told a group of young conservatives that in order to interview Anthony Fauci, they had to “go in for the kill shot,” adding “the kill shot? With an ambush? Deadly. Because he doesn’t see it coming.”
Watters said as part of his instructions to students in attendance regarding how to record a viral moment that Fox News was likely to air.
Fauci was shocked at the comments, calling them “awful.”
He told CNN he was sure Watters would not be held accountable by Fox News, stating that this was not the first time a commentator should be fired for their comments.
Watters is just one of many Fox News hosts that have been highly critical of Fauci during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“The only thing that I have ever done throughout these two years is to encourage people to practice good public health practices: to get vaccinated, to be careful in public settings, to wear a mask,” Fauci said on-air with CNN.
He condemned Fox, saying that his comments about safety led the channel to “have some guy out there saying that people should be giving me a kill shot to ambush [him]? […] what kind of craziness is there in society these days?”
Watters’ rousing speech at the conference was preceded by Fox host Lara Logan’s comparison of Fauci to the infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, who was known for harming prisoners at Auschwitz with no regard for their safety or pain.
Why Does The Right Despise Anthony Fauci?
Fauci is the country’s most prominent spokesperson on the COVID-19 pandemic and has been working tirelessly since the virus’ first appearance to alert Americans about the importance of vaccinations and social distance.
As a result, he has been the target of multiple Fox News programs that have been trying to gather support from Americans resistant to vaccines.
His work throughout his career has managed to offend the right for decades.
Besides being the President’s Medical Advisor, he is the current director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
He first rose to prominence in the medical field during his research efforts during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
He and his team began working on a vaccine in 1981, hoping to find a means of combating the virus.
While initially met with criticism from those who were opposed to helping people with HIV, along with LGBTQ+ activists who were upset about him pushing a medical agenda, he has since been hailed for his efforts to help those dying of the seemingly untouchable disease.
When interviewed by The Guardian, Fauci stated that his “career and identity [have] really been defined by HIV.”
As director of NIAID, he oversees the $1.8 billion HIV budget and is a global HIV research response leader.
Of his achievements in the field of HIV research, he says:
“I’ve been in a very unique position of now being one of the very, very few people who were there from the very first day of HIV.”
To conservative Americans, a man who paved the way towards encouraging research into the “gay disease” is undoubtedly not the person to be listening to in regards to dealing with a worldwide pandemic that is killing thousands of Americans every single month.