While calls for Dr. Anthony Fauci to resign or be fired from his post grow over revelations contained in thousands of his released emails, CNN has rushed to his defense and claimed conservatives are distorting history to smear him.
“The press hasn’t covered COVID accurately, so why should they start now? No one is, to use CNN’s words, ‘smearing Fauci,” Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor told Fox News.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., was the first U.S. Senator to call on Fauci to resign. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., joined him on Saturday, saying President Biden should remove Fauci in the aftermath of emails released last week from the early months of the pandemic.
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Some House of Representatives members have been calling on Fauci to resign since at least March. A group of House Republicans introduced a bill to fire him last month, but CNN has chalked the backlash up to conservatives looking for a villain.
Monday’s edition of CNN’s “New Day” even featured an on-screen chyron that claimed “conservatives distort pandemic history while smearing Fauci.”
CNN anchor John Berman set up author Lawrence Wright to call it “totally ridiculous” for conservatives to be peeved at Fauci.
Grabien media founder Tom Elliot blasted the segment on Twitter.
“CNN runs cover for Fauci, sets up segment targeting conservatives for using Fauci’s emails against him,” Elliot wrote.
Among the revelations in the emails were an expert told Fauci as early as January it was possible that the COVID-19 virus could be artificially altered (though the expert who told him that later reversed his stance); that Fauci apparently took seriously the possibility that money from his agency, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), could have funded “gain of function” work on coronaviruses in a Wuhan lab; and that he was in touch with an individual who’d directed funding to that lab.
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Fauci has been the face of the government response to the coronavirus pandemic. However, his reversals on the use of masks last year and general advocacy of erring on the side of caution upset many on the right who thought the government was restricting freedoms too much.
Fauci has declared the controversial emails are “profoundly misleading” and CNN published a straight-news story which claimed they “renewed Republican efforts to turn Fauci into a top political enemy of the party.” Despite CNN’s efforts to sanitize the email story, Gainor doesn’t think criticism should be frowned upon.
“He has lied about masks and moved the goalposts on how we define herd immunity. He’s also covering for communist China where the virus started. It’s not ‘rewriting the narrative’ to call his neutrality into question or to criticize his performance,” Gainor said.
“CNN is just reflexively protecting Fauci in an attempt to smear former President Trump,” Gainor added. “CNN should change its name to the CPN — the Cable Propaganda Network.”
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Political satirist and Washington Times columnist Tim Young feels CNN has a “vested interest” in Fauci and therefore must attempt to protect his once-sterling reputation.
“If he’s wrong, they’re wrong for hanging on and propagating his every word. Again, CNN is showing their hand that, with a pile of evidence and emails exposing Fauci,” Young told Fox News. “They’d rather stick to their narrative then be actual journalists. This non-journalistic behavior has become the modus operandi for CNN and is the reason even people who should be their fans are tuning out in record numbers.”
Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.