Elon Musk has used the past few days to sound off against outgoing NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci.
In a tweet on Sunday, Musk suggested that Fauci should face prosecution for his role as architect of America’s COVID-19 response.
“My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci,” Musk tweeted. The tweet has so far garnered over 1.1 million likes.
The criticism comes as Fauci faces investigations by House Republicans over his leadership during the pandemic, and his connection to the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic in funding over a decade of gain-of-function research.
Musk’s campaign also included a spicy meme in which Dr. Fauci is depicted as the villainous Grima Wormtongue from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
“Just one more lockdown, my King…” Fauci can be seen whispering to Joe Biden, who’s dressed as LOTR’s King Théoden.
As expected, the tweets have caused significant blowback against the Tesla CEO.
“I’m a big fan of Dr. Fauci and how he’s calmly guided our country through crisis,” announced Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. “Re Musk tweet? Courting vaccine-deniers doesn’t seem like a smart business strategy, but the issue is this: could you just leave a good man alone in your seemingly endless quest for attention?”
Former CIA Chief John Brennan offered a similar defense of Fauci.
“Dr. Fauci is a national hero who will be remembered for generations to come for his innate goodness & many contributions to public health Despite your business success, you will be remembered most for fueling public hate & divisions,” Brennan wrote. “You may have money, but you have no class.”
Musk offered a short, concise response to the criticism on Monday morning:
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