Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy is not a fan of White House health adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and urged him to “pick a side” in his coronavirus messages.
Portnoy slammed Fauci during an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, following up on criticism he unleashed on the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for flip-flopping on the appropriate response to the pandemic.
(Source: Fox News)
“I was taken off-guard, Portnoy said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“I thought I was taking crazy pills for a second,” he added, referring to an interview Fauci did with CNBC where he now acknowledged that extended lockdown orders due to the pandemic may actually cause “irreparable damage.”
“I don’t mean to pile on Fauci, but we are making very important decisions based on what he’s saying, and I think it’s okay to say ‘I really don’t know, guys,’” Portnoy said.”But I get the feeling if you asked him this question, or ‘What does one plus one equal?’ you’re going to get seven different answers.”
“We certainly want, in a cautious way, to reopen,” Fauci told CNBC on Friday.
“We can’t stay locked down for such a considerable period of time that you might do irreparable damage and have unintended consequences, including consequences for health,” he said, adding that “we are enthusiastic about reopening.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 23, 2020
Portnoy had taken to Instagram to blast the member of President Trump’s coronavirus task force after that interview.
“He thinks we should start opening the country. What the f–k are we talking about? This is my whole point,” he said in a video, adding that Fauci should “pick a f—ing side or at least say you don’t know.”
“It’s okay to say you don’t know, that’s kind of my point,” he told Carlson on Friday as the two discussed the importance of transparency and the fact that “experts” like Fauci are believable because they look the part.
“I don’t think anybody really knows the true answers. It’s a moving target, it’s a disease we never met with before but that’s why I think at this point you let people, individuals make decisions for themselves,” Portnoy told Carlson. “The only thing, as I said before, that we absolutely know for certain is if you continue the quarantine…tons of people are going to lose their livelihoods.”
Fauci’s remarks on Friday appeared to be a reversal of recent comments when he had appeared to urge stricter measures. In his testimony before a Senate committee last week, he warned that opening businesses too soon would “result in needless suffering and death.”
“Listen, Fauci may be the nicest guy in the world, but he said wear masks [then] don’t wear masks. He said the lockdown may go on indefinitely [then] we have to end the lockdown,” Portnoy recounted. “It’s tough to really put that much stake in what he’s saying when I just don’t think he knows.”
He explained how Fauci’s seeming about-face on several occasions, without acknowledging that they were reversals, makes him less trustworthy.
“Right now, I don’t trust what he says, I don’t know how anybody could, and yet, I don’t know if it’s intentional, I just honestly think this thing moves. There’s videos of Fauci all through this, he’s on different sides depending on the day, depending on the mood,” Portnoy pointed out. “We are making seemingly life-changing decisions for other people based on facts that are clearly are not facts.”
Carlson brought up Fauci’s appearance in a video call with actress Julia Roberts this week as he participated in part of ONE Campaign’s new #PassTheMic series. The Osacar-winning actress seemed almost star-struck by Fauci, gushing about what a “thrill” it was to speak with him and calling him her “personal hero.”
Time to #PassTheMic 🎤- Today, Day 1: Julia Roberts donates her social media channels to Dr Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (@NIAIDNews) in solidarity with #ONEWorld to fight against #COVID19 👀 📹 https://t.co/16AqIHFYIp pic.twitter.com/NCGFHDrHqa
— ONE (@ONECampaign) May 21, 2020
“Does that make you trust him more or less?” Carlson asked Portnoy about the interview.
“He’s got a believable face,” Portnoy replied, admitting that he isn’t thrilled with the nation’s top infectious disease expert chatting with “a Hollywood starlet” but that he would trust him because “he looked smart.”
“I like Pretty Woman as much as the next guy, so I’m not holding that against him,” he added, referring to the actress’ well-known film.
“I totally agree about the way he looks. When I see Fauci on TV with the sound off I think, I believe that guy,” Carlson agreed. “We’ve interviewed him on the show, it’s nothing personal, but I think people have listened so long because he looks like a guy you would listen to.”
“He absolutely looks like an expert and to be honest, every single question or speech, he sounds like an expert,” Portnoy responded, noting that people are “hanging on what he says.”
“I think at this point I trust Julia Roberts more,” Carlson quipped as he wrapped up the interview.
“She’s very believable, she’s a very believable American,” Portnoy agreed. “Julia Roberts, very believable very believable.”