Fox News’ prime time personalities lashed out Tuesday after Dr. Anthony Fauci warned during a Senate Health Committee hearing against the premature reopening of the country while the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage.
Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert who is a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, told lawmakers earlier in the day that the true death toll from COVID-19 is likely underreported.
Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham ― whose coverage of the public health crisis has garnered widespread criticism for downplaying the threat and promoting bogus treatments ― responded with disdain.
Carlson, in a lengthy monologue, ranted about Fauci being an unelected official, asked whether he should be entrusted with the power to make long-term health recommendations and called him out for what the host said were past contradictory statements.
“He’s had the same job for nearly 40 years,” complained Carlson. “That means the majority of American voters never even indirectly picked him for the role he has now.”
“This is not the result of any kind of democratic process at work at all,” he continued. “Yet, in the last four months, Fauci has become one of the most powerful people in the world. And some, particularly in our media and in our Democratic establishment, are clamoring to give Dr. Fauci even more power.”
Carlson suggested “some people” think Fauci should be “dictator for the duration of this crisis,” which he declared as “insanity.”
“Fauci, like every other human being, is flawed,” Carlson ranted, and “maybe even more off base than your average epidemiologist.”
Carlson also appeared to call Fauci the “chief buffoon of the professional class.”
Ingraham also seized on Fauci’s unelected status, claiming Democrats want to “keep this panic parade going” until the 2020 election.
Hannity, meanwhile, accused Fauci of siding with “the left” to favor “massive restrictions with no end in sight.”
“There is no secret that Dr. Fauci, like so many others, has been wrong a lot,” said Hannity, after expressing respect for the scientist.
“It’s time to reopen our country and our economy safely,” Hannity added. “Americans are a free people. It is up to all of us to calculate the risk and make our own decisions.”
- Stay up to date with our live blog as we cover the COVID-19 pandemic
- What happens if we end social distancing too soon?
- What you need to know about face masks right now
- Will there be a second stimulus check?
- Lost your job due to coronavirus? Here’s what you need to know.
- Why it takes so long to make a coronavirus vaccine
- Parenting during the coronavirus crisis?
- The HuffPost guide to working from home
- What coronavirus questions are on your mind right now? We want to help you find answers.
Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a HuffPost member today.