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Fauci Says He Became a Political Target Because He Stands for 'Science, Data and Evidence'

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool

White House Chief Medical Advisor Anthony Fauci said Sunday that he has become such a polarizing figure during the coronavirus pandemic because he is an advocate for the "truth" rather than "conspiracy theories."

"I have stood for always making science data and evidence, be what we guide ourselves by," Fauci told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace. "And I think people who feel differently, who have conspiracy theories, who deny reality, that's looking them straight in the eye."

"Those are people that don't particularly care for me, and that's understandable because what I do, and I try very hard, is to be guided by the truth," he continued. "And sometimes the truth becomes inconvenient for some people, so they react against me."

Fauci added that typically, he is "not comfortable" telling people what they do "under normal circumstances." However, he says that "we are not in normal circumstances."

Throughout the pandemic, Fauci has been criticized for his inconsistent guidance on lockdowns, masking and the origins of COVID-19.

Fauci's leaked emails from earlier this year showed that his private conversations contradicted his public comments about the virus. This included his acknowledgment in June that a lab leak theory was plausible after previously shutting down such claims.

Over the summer, he even told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that "attacks on me quite frankly are attacks on science."

Fauci's comments Sunday come after recent allegations claim that he allegedly misled the Trump administration on gain-of-function research in China. Australian reporter Sharri Markson wrote in her new book, "What Really Happened In Wuhan," that Fauci tried to convince then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to resume funding of a research project in China that was run by EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S. nonprofit. 

The U.S. suddenly terminated funding to EcoHealth last year following a decade-long research project studying bats in China to identify coronaviruses. 

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