Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis described retiring Dr. Anthony Fauci as an “elf” and called for him to be thrown “across the Potomac River” in a speech Wednesday afternoon.
Fauci, 81, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the past seven presidents, announced Monday that he will retire at the end of the year.
DeSantis, speaking at a GOP “Keep Florida Free” rally in Seminole County, mocked Fauci is 5’7″ – two inches shorter than his own – and called for him to be physically thrown from the US capital in Maryland, WFLA News reported.
“I’m sick of watching it. I know he says he’s going to retire. Somebody needs to grab that little elf and throw him across the Potomac,” DeSantis told the cheering crowd after discussing Fauci’s “bad” treatment of children during the coronavirus pandemic.
DeSantis, 43, is running for re-election this year with an eye on a run for the White House in 2024. He won the Republican nomination for governor unopposed on Tuesday.
Fauci has become a household name during the pandemic and has been the target of partisan abuse from Republican lawmakers and former President Donald Trump, who called him a “disaster” and said he “usually does the opposite” of what the Dyker Heights native advised Brooklyn.
The virologist said the rhetoric led to “serious threats” against him and his family, and he received federal security information.
A West Virginia man was sentenced to three years in prison earlier this month for repeatedly threatening to kill Fauci, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
News of his retirement prompted many GOP lawmakers to call for an investigation into his leadership during the pandemic.
With AP wires
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