Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise'

President BidenJoe BidenCourt nixes offshore drilling leases auctioned by Biden administration Laquan McDonald's family pushes for federal charges against officer ahead of early release Biden speaks with Ukrainian president amid Russian threat MORE’s chief medical adviser, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care — ObamaCare gets record numbers Fans attending Super Bowl LVI to be given KN95 masks The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Breaking: Justice Breyer to retire MORE, said in an interview broadcast Sunday that lies and threats against him are "noise." 

“Anybody who spins lies and threatens and all that theater that goes on with some of the investigations and the congressional committees and the [Sen.] Rand Pauls [R-Ky.] and all that other nonsense, that's noise, Margaret. That's noise. I know what my job is,” Fauci told “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan on CBS.

“Sen. [Ted] Cruz [R-Texas] told the attorney general you should be prosecuted,” Brennan noted.

“Yeah. I have to laugh at that. I should be prosecuted? What happened on Jan. 6, senator?” Fauci responded.

Asked if he was being used as a scapegoat to deflect from former President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE, he answered, “Of course.”

“You have to be asleep not to figure that one out,” he added.

Fauci noted that the attacks are “dangerous” because they are meant to discredit science.

He noted that when people spreading misinformation and lies “get up and criticize science, nobody's going to know what they're talking about. But if they get up and really aim their bullets at Tony Fauci, well, people could recognize there's a person there. There's a face. There's a voice you can recognize. You see him on television.”

“So it's easy to criticize, but they're really criticizing science because I represent science. That's dangerous. To me, that's more dangerous than the slings and the arrows that get thrown at me,” he continued. “I'm not going to be around here forever, but science is going to be here forever. And if you damage science, you are doing something very detrimental to society long after I leave. And that's what I worry about.”

Paul and Cruz have been among a group of outspoken Republicans who have criticized Fauci.

Paul said in October that Fauci should be fired over research funded by the National Institutes of Health in Wuhan, China. 

Cruz said in June that Fauci had changed his positions on COVID-19, claiming he said what was "politically convenient," though Fauci has noted that his decisions have been shaped as data has evolved.