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Dr. Anthony FauciWeill Cornell Medicine / YouTube

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — As the ranks of his critics grow thanks to a trove of emails shedding light on his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci declared on national television this week that those criticizing him are effectively attacking science itself.

Claiming he’s done nothing but “follow the science,” Fauci told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Wednesday that “a lot of what you’re seeing as attacks on me quite frankly are attacks on science, because all of the things that I have spoken about consistently from the very beginning have been fundamentally based on science.”

“Sometimes those things were inconvenient truths for people, and there was pushback against me, so if you are trying to, you know, get at me as a public health official and scientist, you’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you’re attacking science, and anybody that looks at what is going on clearly sees that,” he continued. “You have to be asleep not to see that. That is what is going on, science and the truth are being attacked.”

Previously a relatively-obscure public official as head of the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Fauci rose to quasi-celebrity status over the past year as the Trump administration’s presumptive top expert on COVID-19, a rare figure who enjoyed the respect of both Left and Right. His reputation steadily soured among conservatives, however, due to a series of alarming and contradictory public statements.

Fauci said in February 2020 there was “absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask” in the United States; by July he was suggesting that Americans wear not only masks but goggles and face shields. To this day he continues to tout the importance of masking, despite multiple studies indicating its ineffectiveness. Critics have also faulted Fauci for floating the idea of requiring Americans to carry “certificates” documenting their immunity to COVID-19 and suggesting that handshaking should be abolished but sex with strangers remains alright if “you’re willing to take a risk.” 

Last month, Fauci’s credibility took another hit following revelations that his agency had funded “gain-of-function” research — which involves intentionally strengthening viruses to better study their potential effects — at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which could have given birth to COVID-19. In recent weeks it was impaired further still with the release of a trove of private emails in which Fauci ignored warnings about Chinese disinformation about the virus and dismissed public policy advice that appears to have since been vindicated by states like Florida and South Dakota, among other revelations:

President Joe Biden claims he remains “very confident” in Fauci; Human Events senior editor Jack Posobiec claims White House officials are “actively discussing an exit strategy” for the embattled bureaucrat.