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Fauci dismisses Tucker Carlson's criticism but says it may inspire threats from 'crazies'

Top infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciUK study: Pfizer, AstraZeneca vaccines offer protection against Delta variant The tale of the last bipartisan unicorns Delta variant's UK dominance sparks concerns in US MORE in a new interview Friday dismissed recent criticism from Fox News's Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonCotton, Pentagon chief tangle over diversity training in military Conservation deal puts additional hurdle in front of embattled mine proposal Donald Trump Jr. joins Cameo MORE, but said it could inspire more death threats against him.

“I flip around the channels at night, which I probably shouldn’t. And I found this guy — you know this guy, Tucker Carlson? You heard of him?” The Washington Post's Geoff Edgers asked Fauci in an online interview that streamed live

“He’s the guy that really loves me, right?” Fauci replied sarcastically.

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Edgers went on to list some of the criticism from Carlson, who has called Fauci a "fraud" and a "chief buffoon of the professional class."

“Does it bother you? On a humane level, do you feel threatened or concerned when you see that kind of thing floating out there?” Edgers asked Fauci.

“I’m not concerned about what he says,” Fauci said. “It’s a little bit — I think you could say that when he does that, it triggers some of the crazies in society to start threatening me, actually threatening, which actually happens.

“I mean, who would have [guessed] when I was in medical school doing things to save people’s lives, I’d have to be going around with a security detail?” he continued. “That’s really ridiculous.”

Fauci's comment comes after he recently received a security detail and said he and his family have been threatened over his high-profile role on the White House's coronavirus task force and his frequent comments and guidance on the pandemic. He noted he did not ask for a detail, but based on the threats coming in, federal officials determined he needed security.

"He's trashing me on TV, fine. If he wants to do that, let him do it. I'm not going to get distracted by that," Fauci added.

Fauci also said during the interview with the Post that his blood doesn't just boil it "evaporates" when he sees people not wearing masks in crowded indoor spaces. He added, responding to photos of packed crowds outdoors such as beaches, that while it's safer outside, people should still wear a mask.

"Even though outdoors is much better than indoors, when you're that close you should be wearing a mask," he said.