Jimmy Kimmel offered an impassioned defense of Dr. Anthony Fauci during his opening monologue on Tuesday evening's episode of ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
"If you've been watching Fox News, you know that the real enemy isn't the virus or the do-my-own-research geniuses who refuse to get the vaccine. The real enemy is Dr. Fauci," Kimmel stated. "Let me tell you screwballs something about Dr. Fauci. Cause I've had enough of this. And he's too nice to say this himself."
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Major conservative voices, such as Tucker Carlson, Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz, took issue with Fauci's recent declaration that he "represents science" on CBS' Nov. 28 episode of "Face the Nation."
"This man has been working on behalf of the public for more than fifty years. He served under six presidents… To suggest that his politics have anything to do with his work or what he recommends is ridiculous. And it's a lie. He doesn't deserve it. He's not a politician, he's a doctor," Kimmel continued.
Fauci has been a longstanding target of right-wing criticism from media and lawmakers throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, allies of former President Donald J. Trump voiced accusations that Fauci intended to undermine the administration's handling of the health crisis. Trump himself also declared that he had considered firing Fauci during the crisis.
"He is a brilliant public servant who these monsters now threaten and accuse and slander and put in real danger with these disgusting lies," Kimmel continued. "These nutjobs who follow them are threatening him. A man who is trying to keep us alive is getting death threats. Can you imagine that?"
Billy Crystal was the evening's guest on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," with Local Natives also appearing to perform music.
See the full monologue below:
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