U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio charged Dr. Anthony Fauci of “getting high on his own supply” during an appearance on the Fox News Channel Thursday.
Rubio was on hand to reiterate his belief that President Joe Biden should fire the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, when he decided to use the unusual phrasing to describe the long-serving federal official.
“He’s gotten on the cover of magazines. He’s become this national figure. He enjoys this celebrity that’s come with it and this role he’s played, almost like a super-governmental role, this authority that everybody has to listen to. I think he’s gotten, you know, high on his own supply a little bit,” Rubio told viewers of “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”
“You see the statements he’s now making. He sounds more like a political figure than he does like a health expert,” Rubio said, referring to recent interviews where Fauci has decried his critics, and reiterating the case for Fauci’s dismissal.
The criticisms of Fauci perhaps liking the limelight too much echo those of another man running for reelection statewide next year.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, with the highest media profile of any Republican in the state, was the first to workshop that line of critique, comparing Fauci to Marie Antoinette. after Fauci appeared on a digital cover of InStyle magazine.
“Obviously, he does so many interviews that it was pretty clear to me that after a short time that this was about himself and his own image,” DeSantis snarked on Fox News last week. “For me, you look at that magazine cover where he’s lounging by the pool with the sunglasses on, you know, right in the midst of a pandemic. It was almost like a let them eat cake moment for all the people who were chafing under his lockdowns, and yet he seemed to be having the time of his life.”
Rubio finally came out for Fauci’s firing last week, with suppression of the “lab leak” theory being the final straw. However, the incorporation of the critique of Fauci’s celebrity is new material.