A documentary highlighting Dr. Anthony Fauci’s work on combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the coronavirus pandemic became the focus of sharp ridicule Wednesday.
The documentary, produced by National Geographic, was highlighted in a fawning piece by The New York Times that referred to Fauci as a “movie star,” and praised his ability to “artfully” navigate Washington, D.C.’s “nexus of media, science, policy and politics.”
The piece also underscored Fauci’s complaints against other’s criticisms of his work, noting that he referred to “extreme far right QAnon jerks,” and “a firestorm of the crazy far right” while discussing the documentary.
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“‘Fauci,’ a new documentary, follows the renowned infectious disease specialist’s work in two health crises: AIDS and the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Fauci agreed to participate as long as it didn’t interfere with his work,” The Times wrote on Twitter with a link to the piece.
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Critics responded to The Times’ post, mocking the documentary and suggesting Fauci was being praised for things he hasn’t accomplished yet.
“They produced a documentary on his two biggest failures. Dumb,” one critic wrote, while another suggested the next Fauci documentary would be called “Fauci Behind Bars,” seemingly referring to accusations he lied during testimony to Congress about whether the U.S> funded gain-of-function research on coronaviruses in Wuhan, China.
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Other critics seemed to express their feelings of flat-out outrage and humor over the documentary:
The Times noted the documentary is “overwhelmingly admiring,” and the only critical voice interviewed was Times science reporter Apoorva Mandavilli. Mandavilli caused controversy for her newspaper earlier this year when she declared the theory that the coronavirus leaked from a Wuhan lab – which is now being seriously considered after being widely dismissed by scientists and the media last year – had “racist roots.”
Fauci has been head of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984 and is now President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser. He advised six former presidents on combating HIV/AIDS, and has played an essential role in U.S. research of disease outbreaks, including the coronavirus pandemic.
His tenure throughout the latter has, however, been fraught with criticism over his handling of U.S. funded research on coronaviruses in China, where the pandemic originated. During congressional testimony on the pandemic, Fauci stated multiple times that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) does not fund gain-of-function research in China, but it has given millions of dollars in grant money to a research nonprofit called EcoHealth Alliance, which funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund coronavirus research in Wuhan.
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The documentary, which aired in 11 select cities this month, is set to be released on Disney+ in early October.
Fox News’ David Aaro and David Rutz contributed to this report.