At a conservative gathering in recent days, Fox News host Jesse Watters called on attendees to utilize what he called a “kill shot” against Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, who — for some reason — has been a repeated target of Republican vitriol throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, even though his actual job responsibilities are significantly more limited than certain conservatives would appear to assume. He leads medical research, and he’s a presidential adviser — he’s not the final arbiter of what goes into effect as public health policy for the United States. To be clear, Watters was referring to a rhetorical “kill shot” against Fauci, but his comments were still profoundly ridiculous and reckless, and Fauci called for his firing.
Today, I am ordering the federal government to purchase half a billion additional at-home rapid tests with delivery starting in January.
We will be getting these tests to Americans for free — and we will have a website where you can get them delivered to your home.
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 21, 2021
Asked about what concerns he had in response to Watters’s comments, Fauci told CNN host John Berman as follows:
‘Well, John, that’s horrible. I mean, that just is such a reflection of the craziness that goes on in society. The only thing that I have ever done throughout these two years is to encourage people to practice good public health practices — to get vaccinated, to be careful in public settings, to wear a mask. And for that, you have some guy out there saying that people should be giving me a kill shot, to ambush me? I mean, what kind of craziness is there in society these days? That’s awful that he said that. And he’s going to go, very likely, unaccountable… That’s crazy — the guy should be fired on the spot.’
Watch Fauci’s remarks below:
The specific form of “kill shot” that Watters wanted his listeners to take against Fauci entailed a supposedly pointed question. He was discussing confronting Fauci in public, and after going through steps that would supposedly get the long-serving public health official off his game, Watters said that “now he’s in trouble. Now you’re going for the kill shot. The kill shot with an ambush, deadly. Because he doesn’t see it coming.” (The supposedly powerful question that Watters then shared involved an allegation that Fauci “funded risky research at a sloppy Chinese lab,” and the GOP form of this notion is something that Fauci has repeatedly dismantled.)
Ashley Pratte Oates: Whether or not you agree with the verdict is one thing, but glorifying someone who fatally shot two people and injured someone else is another. – @NBCNewsTHINK https://t.co/BwDiLAlrG7
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 21, 2021
Just to accentuate the fact that the lack of a literal meaning behind Watters’s words doesn’t make them suddenly un-concerning: Kyle Rittenhouse, whose claim to fame is killing two people and getting away with it in the name of self-defense, spoke at the same event where Watters targeted Fauci. This is the direction that the Republican Party is going.
Free testing in America:
– 20,000 free sites
– 50M free tests going out to convenient locations
– Authorized a dozen new tests.
– invested $3b & used DPA to quadruple supply
AND WE'RE DOING EVEN MORE
Today, @POTUS will announce an order of 500M new tests. Free to all.
— Ben Wakana (@benwakana46) December 21, 2021