Dr. Anthony Fauci opined Sunday about the surge of gun violence in the United States and described the spike in shootings as an issue of public health.
Speaking to CNN host Dana Bash on “State of the Union,” Fauci was asked to comment on whether he believes gun violence is a public health emergency.
“Myself, as a public health person, I think you can’t run away from that,” Fauci replied. “When you see people getting killed, I mean, in this last month it’s just been horrifying what’s happened. How can you say that’s not a public health issue?”
Dr. Anthony Fauci on whether he considers gun violence a public health emergency: “When you see people getting killed, I mean, in this last month, it’s just been horrifying what’s happened. How can you say that’s not a public health issue?” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/9lEhV3aZqL
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) April 18, 2021
Fauci has faced criticism before after commenting on issues that have nothing to do with medicine. In August, Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed Fauci is “a fraud” who frequently wades into political discussions despite claiming otherwise.
As The Daily Wire reported:
During a segment in which he described Fauci as “likely the most powerful physician in the history of this country,” Carlson played a clip of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) grilling Fauci earlier this week about the seemingly lopsided response from health officials regarding the danger of mass protests compared to other activities such as going to church.
Fauci nevertheless maintained that he was “not in a position to determine what the government can do in a forceful way” in terms of limiting things such as large protests, but Jordan hit back, saying, “Well, you make all kinds of recommendations. You make comments on dating, on baseball, on everything you can imagine. I’m just asking, you just said protests increase the spread. I’m just asking should we try to limit the protest?”
Lauding Jordan as “finally a member of Congress capable of asking a follow-up question,” Carlson said Jordan is “absolutely right,” and reiterated Jordan’s point that despite Fauci’s reticence during the congressional hearing to “opine on limiting anything,” he has been more than willing to offer his opinions on many other things, many of which have had profound consequences.
Tucker Carlson lights up Dr. Anthony Fauci for dodging @Jim_Jordan's questions on protests and coronavirus:
— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) August 1, 2020
Fauci’s comments come days after a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis resulted in the deaths of at least eight people. In the U.S., there have been 151 mass shootings in 2021 as of Sunday, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.
The GVA outlines their methodology for determining what is and is not a mass shooting as follows:
GVA uses a purely statistical threshold to define mass shooting based ONLY on the numeric value of 4 or more shot or killed, not including the shooter. GVA does not parse the definition to remove any subcategory of shooting. To that end we don’t exclude, set apart, caveat, or differentiate victims based upon the circumstances in which they were shot.
In that, the criteria are simple…if four or more people are shot or killed in a single incident, not involving the shooter, that incident is categorized as a mass shooting based purely on that numerical threshold.
President Joe Biden responded to the incident in Indianapolis by describing the number of mass shootings in the country as “an epidemic.” His statement said in part:
Gun violence is an epidemic in America. But we should not accept it. We must act.
Last week, I called on the Justice Department to better protect Americans from gun violence. I also urged Congress to hear the call of the American people — including the vast majority of gun owners — to enact commonsense gun violence prevention legislation, like universal background checks and a ban of war and high-capacity magazines. Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation. We can, and must, do more to act and to save lives.