Fauci said GOP attacks against him are 'nonsense' and he had to 'laugh' when Sen. Ted Cruz said he should be prosecuted

By Connor Perrett

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in a wide-ranging interview that aired Sunday said the political attacks against him are nothing more than "nonsense" and "noise." 

"So anybody spins lies and threatens and all that theater that goes on with some of the investigations and the congressional committees and the Rand Pauls and all that other nonsense, that's noise," Fauci said during an appearance on CBS News' "Face the Nation."

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican, in October called for Fauci to be fired, claiming he lied to Congress about US-funded research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology involving gain of function experiments, as Insider's Morgan Keith reported. Fauci has disputed such claims.

"That's noise. I know what my job is," he added.

Fauci, also the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, became a polarizing figure during the Trump administration when the former president regularly disputed his recommendations and guidance. During the Biden administration, Fauci has continued to be the target of far-right and conservative figures.

In the Sunday interview, "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan asked Fauci about comments made by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, who at an October hearing called on US Attorney General Merrick Garland to prosecute Fauci over claims he lied about gain of function experiments. 

"I have to laugh at that. I should be prosecuted? What happened on January 6, Senator?" Fauci replied, laughing, and referencing the January 6 riot at the US Capitol that was incited by former President Donald Trump and led to his impeachment earlier this year

"Do you think that this is about making you a scapegoat to deflect from President Trump?" Brennan asked. 

"Of course. Of course. You have to be asleep not to figure that one out," Fauci said.

Fauci said he was subjected to such attacks as a means for others to attack science.

"And to me, that's unbelievably bad because all I want to do is save people's lives," he said. "And, I mean, anybody who's looking at this carefully realizes that there's a distinct anti-science flavor to this.

"So if they get up and criticize science, nobody's going to know what they're talking about. But if they get up and really aim their bullets at Tony Fauci, well, people could recognize, there's a person there," he added.