BBC News’ Reality Check team confirmed in August that EcoHealth Alliance received the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding – which NIAID is part of - to look into “the risk of bat coronavirus emergence”. Some of that money went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the building at the centre of unproven theories that the Covid pandemic was caused by a lab leak.
But both NIH and EcoHealth Alliance have rejected claims they supported or funded Chinese research into “gain-of-function”, which “improves the ability of a pathogen to cause disease”.
“I’ve authorised it, just make sure it’s legal,” Mr Watters went on to add.
The broadcaster also used the same “kill-shot” term when talking about white privilege and Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator who campaigned for her party’s backing as Trump’s opponent in 2020’s presidential election.
On CNN’s New Day on Tuesday, Dr Fauci described the remarks against him as “horrible” and “such a reflection of the craziness that goes on in society”.
“The only thing that I have ever done throughout these two years, is to encourage people to practise good public health practices - to get vaccinated, to be careful in public settings, to wear a mask, and for that, you have some guy out there saying that people should be giving me a kill shot, to ambush me?
“I mean, what kind of craziness is there in society these days?
“That’s awful that he said that, and he’s going to go, very likely, unaccountable. I mean, whatever network he’s on is not going to do anything for him.
“I mean, that’s crazy. The guy should be fired on the spot,” he said.
Twitter users also condemned the comments, with many tagging in the FBI to call on them to investigate:
@RonFilipkowski Cheering talk about ending Fauci’s life. For the sin of trying to save theirs.