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Elon Musk slams Biden’s Covid response adviser Anthony Fauci in tweet

Elon Musk drew both criticism and praise for his tweet, which was split along partisan lines. (Case)

San Francisco:

Elon Musk on Sunday targeted outgoing top US infectious disease official and key adviser to the US response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Anthony Fauci, in a viral tweet that sparked a backlash.

“My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci,” the billionaire Twitter CEO says, alluding to the practice of listing gender pronouns after his name as well as the right-wing campaign to accuse Fauci of crimes related to his involvement in US Covid policies.

Musk also posted a meme showing Fauci telling US President Joe Biden, “Just another lockdown, my king…” – in an apparent critique of the Covid mitigation measure Musk repeatedly criticized but did not been deployed in the country for over a year.

At the start of the pandemic, Musk tweeted that concern over the virus was “stupid” and since taking over Twitter he has removed its policy targeting Covid misinformation.

Musk’s tweet quickly went viral, receiving more than 800,000 likes in around 11 hours, but also drawing rapid criticism.

Vaccine expert and author Peter Hotez called on Musk to delete the tweet, saying, “200,000 Americans needlessly lost their lives to Covid because of this type of anti-science rhetoric and misinformation.”

Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar praised the way Fauci “calmly guided our country through the crisis” and addressed Musk, saying, “Could you just leave a good man alone in your seemingly endless quest for ‘Warning?”

But Musk received praise from right-wing corners.

Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who had been removed from Twitter over Covid misinformation but whose account was reinstated at Musk’s direction, tweeted: “I affirm your pronouns Elon.”

Republican lawmakers have pledged to grill Fauci when they take control of the House of Representatives in January, after repeatedly locking horns with the top immunologist over Covid vaccines, mask mandates and other related issues to the pandemic.

Fauci, 81, is due to leave his government duties this month as Biden’s chief medical adviser, as well as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which he has led since 1984.

In what was likely his final White House appearance in November, Fauci criticized the proliferation of bad health advice online and said the hardest thing he had faced while leading America’s fight against Covid was the polarization of the country along political lines.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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