Fauci was asked about the matter on CNN and stated that Watters should have been fired “on-the-spot”, but predicted that he would not be held responsible for his language.
Fox claimed that Watters’ words were “completely out of context.”
Watters, who was a Fox News Channel panel show host called “The Five”, made his first mark by doing aggressive interviews for Bill O’Reilly. He spoke Monday to a group high school and college conservatives. His audience booed when Fauci was mentioned.
Fox News commentators have often criticised Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and government’s most prominent spokesperson on the COVID-19 pandemic. They were trying to appeal to those who are resistant to vaccinations.
Watters stated that Fauci should be confronted about whether or not the National Institute of Health funded research in Wuhan, China. This is the city where the COVID-19 viruses originated. Fauci said that an interviewer should suggest that he had lied about it — something Fauci has denied.
Watters stated, “Now you go into for the kill shot, with an ambush. It’s deadly because he doesn’t see it coming.”
He suggested that an interviewer tell him, “You know why people don’t trust you,” He is dead. He’s dead. He’s done.”
Watters stated that the interviewer should ensure that the encounter is recorded and the footage is given to conservative media. Project Veritas has used this confrontation technique elsewhere in conservative politics.
Watters stated, “Just make sure it is legal.”
A clip of Watters’ speech that begins with the “kill shot quote” was shared online. Some commentators suggested that Watters had supported Fauci’s assassination.
John Berman, CNN’s chief news correspondent, referred to Watters on Tuesday as a Fox News entertainer. He also asked about the comments, but did not play the clip. Berman said it was dangerous. Berman called Watters a “rhetorical killer shot” and Fauci asked how concerned he was by that language.
Fauci stated that he has been encouraging people to get vaccinated and follow good public health practices for the past two years.
He said, “For that, you have someone out there saying people should give me a kill shot to ambush them?” “It’s amazing how much craziness there is in our society today. He said something terrible. He’s likely to be unaccountable. He will not be part of any network. This guy should be fired immediately.
Fauci discussed death threats and the need for security detail in an October interview with “60 Minutes”.
Fox stated that he had seen the clip and read the transcript and it was clear that Jesse Watters used a metaphor to ask hard-hitting questions… and his words were completely distorted out of context.”
However, Watters’ use of “kill shot” baffled some television news viewers.
Mark Lukasiewicz (dean of Hofstra University’s School of Communication) said that he has never heard the term used. He is also a veteran journalist at NBC News.
Tucker Carlson, Fox’s Italian World War II dictator Benito Mussolini compared Fauci last month to Lara Logan who said Fauci was Josef Mengele, a Nazi death doctor.
Fox has not commented upon the statements Logan and Carlson made about Fauci. Logan, who was a contributor to Fox Nation’s streaming service, had previously been a commentator on the network. He has not been seen since.