The country’s top immunologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was ripped on social media Wednesday after he appeared to dismiss hesitancy over getting the COVID-19 jab as nothing but Americans trying to make a political statement.
In an interview with MSNBC, Fauci harped on the importance of Americans getting vaccinated — even those who have had the virus and have immunity antibodies, apparently — saying that the shots will help protect the recipients as well as their family members and the community at large.
But Fauci appeared to become frustrated when discussing those who have steadfastly refused to get jabbed even though he described the vaccines as extremely safe and effective.
“This is not complicated,” Fauci said as MSNBC’s chyron during the segment of his interview with host Chris Hayes included the statement, “Republicans Against Public Health.”
“We’re not asking anybody to make a political statement one way or another,’ he added.
Dr. Fauci to vaccine-hesitant Americans:
“Get over it. Get over this political statement. Just get over it and try to save the lives of yourself and your family.”
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) July 8, 2021
“We’re saying, try and save your life and that of your family and that of the community,” he continued, adding that it’s “frustrating” because unlike many diseases he deals with “that don’t have a solution,” COVID-19 is treatable with a vaccine.
“It’s easy to get, it’s free, and it’s readily available,” he added.
“You’ve gotta ask: What is the problem?” Fauci pressed. “Get over it. Get over this political statement. Just get over it and try and save the lives of yourself and your family.”
Fauci has often attempted to portray himself as being above the political fray, having served multiple administrations — Republican and Democrat — since taking over as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the early 1980s. Last month, he suggested that attacking him is akin to attacking “science.”
But his remarks to Hayes weren’t the first comments he has made equating health with a public or political policy issue. In April, for example, Fauci referred to gun violence as a public health problem.
“When you see people getting killed, I mean, in this last month, it’s just been horrifying what’s happened. How can you say that’s not a public health issue?” he said at the time.
Online, critics honed in on his “get over it” comment, many seeing it as his disdain for anyone who questions his advice or authority. Others noted that despite their efficacy, the approved COVID vaccines are still under emergency authorization and have not been formally approved in typical fashion by the government.
“My advice to Fauci: get over it. If you don’t want the vaccine you have the right to make that decision,” one Twitter user said. “If you have the vaccine you shouldn’t care.”
“We’re not hesitant. We simply understand risk / reward and getting this vaccine makes no sense. In other words, we have the ability to think critically,” said another user.
“How is me not getting this shot political? Sorry but my choice is completely medical, no politics involved,” added another user.
Conservative podcaster, broadcaster, and author Dana Loesch ripped Fauci over his past dishonesty.
“Maybe if he hadn’t lied to everyone about masks people would be more receptive to believing him,” she wrote.
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