Elon Musk on Sunday targeted America’s outgoing top infectious disease official and key advisor of the US response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Anthony Fauci, in a viral tweet that sparked backlash.
“My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci,” the billionaire Twitter CEO said, alluding to the practice of indicating gender pronouns after one’s name as well as the right-wing campaign to charge Fauci with crimes related to his involvement in US Covid policies.
Musk also posted a meme showing Fauci telling US President Joe Biden, “Just one more lockdown, my king…” — in apparent criticism of the Covid mitigation measure Musk has repeatedly slammed but has not been deployed in the country for over a year.
Early in the pandemic, Musk tweeted that concern over the virus was “dumb” and since taking over Twitter has removed its policy targeting Covid misinformation.
Musk’s tweet quickly went viral, receiving over 800,000 likes within some 11 hours but also sparking swift criticism.
Vaccine scientist and author Peter Hotez called on Musk to delete the tweet, saying, “200,000 Americans needlessly lost their lives from Covid due to this kind of antiscience rhetoric and disinformation.”