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Fauci criticizes Fox News for silence after pundit Lara Logan compares him to Nazi doctor

Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks Dec. 1 during a White House news conference. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency/Bloomberg News)

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious-diseases expert, criticized Fox News for not responding after a host compared him to a Nazi doctor known for conducting inhumane and often fatal medical experiments in concentration camps.

Fauci told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Thursday night that he was “astounded” Fox News had not taken disciplinary action against host Lara Logan, who likened Fauci to the infamous physician Josef Mengele.

“What I find striking, Chris, is how she gets no discipline whatsoever from the Fox network — how they can let her say that with no comment and no disciplinary action,” he said.

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post.

Logan, a former foreign correspondent for CBS News’s “60 Minutes,” made the comparison this week during a discussion on the omicron variant of the coronavirus in which she incorrectly stated that rates of death resulting from the virus are comparable with those from influenza.

Lara Logan draws outrage for comparing Fauci to Nazi doctor Josef Mengele on Fox News

“What you see on Dr. Fauci — this is what people say to me: that he doesn’t represent science to them. He represents Josef Mengele,” Logan said Monday on Fox News. “Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who did experiments on Jews during the Second World War and in the concentration camps.”

“People all across the world are saying this, because the response from covid, what it has done to countries everywhere, what it has done to civil liberties, the suicide rates, the poverty, it has obliterated economies,” Logan added. “The level of suffering that has been created because of this disease is now being seen in the cold light of day.”

On Thursday, Fauci said her remarks were an “absolutely preposterous and disgusting comparison.”

“It’s an insult to all of the people who suffered and died under the Nazi regime in the concentration camps,” he said. “It’s unconscionable what she said.”

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also corrected her comment suggesting that the covid-19 toll, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said is nearly 770,000 dead during the pandemic, is similar to that for influenza. The CDC estimates that there were 12,000 to 52,000 flu-related deaths each year between 2010 and 2020.

“Forget about the fact that she was being totally slanderous to me and, as usual, had no idea what she was talking about,” Fauci said.

Mengele, a Nazi war criminal, was known as the “angel of death,” or sometimes the “white angel,” for his cold and cruel demeanor, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

He had a particular interest in twins, performing “a broad range of agonizing and often lethal experiments” on identical and fraternal twins — most of whom were children, according to the museum.

The museum stated that Mengele conducted medical experiments at the Auschwitz concentration camp using human tissue and body parts to try to prove the Nazis’ racial theory that Jews and European Roma were more susceptible to disease.

“Many of his ‘test subjects’ died as a result of the experimentation or were murdered in order to facilitate post-mortem examination,” the museum said.

‘Needle Nazis,’ ‘medical brown shirts,’ Mengele and Stars of David: How Nazi-coronavirus comparisons have proliferated on the right

Among right-wing politicians and pundits, there has been a growing number of comparisons between coronavirus restrictions and Nazi Germany, with some calling vaccine promoters “needle Nazis” and “medical brown shirts,” the latter a reference to the uniform worn by the Nazi Party’s first paramilitary wing.

Logan’s remarks triggered immediate backlash. Organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, the Auschwitz Museum and the American Jewish Committee have condemned her comparison and called for an apology.

“Utterly shameful,” the American Jewish Committee wrote on Twitter. “Josef Mengele earned his nickname by performing deadly and inhumane medical experiments on prisoners of the Holocaust, including children.

“@LaraLogan, there is no comparing the hell these victims went through to public health measures. An apology is needed.”

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