Tucker Carlson Hits Back at Dr. Fauci For Saying Host Spread 'Crazy Conspiracy Theory'

Tucker Carlson has responded to Dr. Anthony Fauci's remarks that the Fox News host was spreading a "crazy conspiracy theory" about COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness.

Fauci, a leading immunologist and the president's chief medical adviser, made his comments over Carlson questioning whether vaccines worked and why people needed to wear masks and avoid physical contact if they did.

During an interview with CNN, Fauci said: "That is just a typical crazy conspiracy theory. Why would we not tell people if [the vaccine] doesn't work? Look at the data. The data are overwhelming.

"In the three vaccines that have been approved for use authorization—the J&J, the Pfizer and the Moderna—you had 30,000, 44,000 and 40,000 people in the clinical trial with an overwhelming signal of efficacy."

In a segment of his show on Wednesday, controversial host Carlson hit out at Fauci.

Dedicating a segment of his show to responding to Fauci, Carlson said: "Wait a second. Who is doubting that vaccines work? For the record, we never for a minute doubted it. We brought all that stuff completely at face value.

"We believe in science, actually kind of probably trust the pharmaceutical companies a little bit too much. So when they said this stuff works, we never questioned it."

Carlson then once again questioned whether the COVID vaccines worked later in the segment.

He added: "Why, for example, does Tony Fauci say you have to wear a mask after you get the vaccine? If we are following the science, and we sincerely hope to, we're wondering, is Fauci telling Americans who have been vaccinated or who have been recovered from the coronavirus itself, that they aren't protected against future infections?"

Carlson later continued: "If this stuff works, why can't you live like it works? What are you really telling us here? And by the way, this, again, is not a trick question, we are not playing word games here, what is the answer?

"If the coronavirus vaccine prevents you from catching the coronavirus, why are you wearing a mask? Why can't you eat in a restaurant? And if you doesn't prevent you from catching the coronavirus, why are we taking it in the first place? Both can't be true."

During a Senate committee hearing in March, Fauci clashed with Republican Rand Paul, when the Kentucky senator said wearing a mask when vaccinated was "just theater."

Fauci responded that certain variants of the virus, notably the B.1.351 South African strain, had been able to still infect vaccinated people, with masks helping slow the spread.

"In the South African study conducted by Johnson & Johnson, they found that people who were infected with wild type and were exposed to the variant in South Africa, the 351, it was as if they had never been infected before, they had no protection," Fauci noted.

Vaccine hesitancy is a concern for scientists and lawmakers across the U.S. who have seen the public being split along party lines.

A March poll of 1,227 adults in the U.S. carried out by NPR and PBS, suggested Republicans were more likely to refuse to take the vaccine than Democrats.

It found 41 percent of Republicans asked said they would not take the vaccine if offered, compared to 11 percent of Democrats.

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Tucker Carlson hit out at Dr. Anthony Fauci during a segment on his Fox News show. In this photo, Fox News host Tucker Carlson speaks during the National Review Institute's Ideas Summit in Washington, D.C. on March 29, 2019. Chip Somodevilla/Getty