White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said that the criticism he has faced from Republicans after thousands of his emails were released this week was an "attack on science."
He said in a Friday interview on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" that, as a public figure, he would "take the arrows and the slings, but they're just — they're fabricated, and that's just what it is," referring to the attacks coming from the GOP and conservative media outlets.
"My job was to make a vaccine and use my institute and these talented scientists that we have there and that we fund in the various universities to get a vaccine that was highly safe and highly effective," Faici said. "We succeeded. That's what I do. All the other stuff is just a terrible, not happy type of distraction. But it's all nonsense."
Fauci has not been a favorable figure to Republicans ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic due to his constantly changing guidance on masking, virus origins and other issues surrounding the virus.
He recently said that the virus could have originated from a lab after saying for the last year that the lab leak theory was out of the realm of possibilities, Townhall previously reported.
Emails from Fauci obtained this week by Buzzfeed through public records requests show that the top infectious disease expert did not reject the lab leak theory early on in the pandemic despite publicly shutting down the theory.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was also reportedly found to have elected not to read emails regarding the global COVID-19 pandemic because they were "too long for me to read."
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that Fauci remains an "undeniable asset" despite criticism from Republicans surrounding his emails. President Joe Biden reiterated the comments from the press secretary, saying Friday that he is "very confident in Dr. Fauci."
"Let me just say, on Dr. Fauci and his emails, he’s also spoken to this many, many times over the last — over the course of the last few days, and we’ll let him speak for himself," Psaki said in a June 3 press briefing. "And he’s been an undeniable asset in our country’s pandemic response. But it’s obviously not that advantageous for me to re-litigate the substance of emails from 17 months ago."
The backlash regarding Fauci's emails comes as U.S. intelligence is looking into the origins of the virus. It was previously concluded that the coronavirus came from animal-to-human transmission but new revelations have led to widespread speculation surrounding its origins, prompting an investigation into whether the virus came from a Wuhan lab.
Fauci said in the interview with Maddow that it is important to discover where the virus originated from to prevent future pandemics but that it was disappointing that speculation about where it came from led to him getting scrutinized.
"The question is extremely legitimate," Fauci said. "But what's happened in the middle of all that, I've become the object of extraordinary, I believe completely inappropriate, distorted, misleading and misrepresented attacks."
Fauci has been fawned over since the pandemic began by the mainstream media and members of the public, and regularly appears on television programs, such as NBC, for interviews.
In introducing him on Friday's show, Maddow praised Fauci, referring to him as a "devoted researcher and scientist."
"People attacking him now appear to be mad at him for the fact that there's an epidemic at all," Maddow said.
The newly released emails also found Fauci to have a celebrity-like appeal and a reported portrayal as a sex symbol. Despite Fauci saying in one of his emails that he hopes the public admiration for him ends soon, conservative and libertarian commentators have said they do not believe him and that he is fond of the attention.