Minnesota Timberwolves star Rudy Gobert appeared to show support for Elon Musk’s critical tweet of outgoing National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, on Monday.
Gobert, the star center for Minnesota, liked Musk’s tweet, which read that his pronouns were “Prosecute/Fauci.”
It is unclear why Gobert liked the tweet. He has not appeared to show support for Musk or distaste for Fauci in the past.
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Gobert was a fixture at the start of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic and the NBA’s decision to press pause on the 2019-20 season because of the spread of the virus. When he was with the Utah Jazz, Gobert was asked about how teams should deal with the virus and appeared to make light of the situation when he purposely touched the tape recorders and microphones in front of him.
The Frenchman later apologized for not taking the pandemic seriously as he was also one of the first NBA stars to be diagnosed with the virus.
“I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment,” Gobert wrote. “The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse.”
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Gobert has also been one of the few NBA players to speak out about the atrocities facing Uyghur Muslims in China.
Musk caused an uproar Sunday over the tweet with some cheering the Twitter CEO for speaking out against the infectious disease expert and others accusing Musk of making reckless remarks and mocking the LGBT community.
When asked whether his tweet about Fauci would be explained in a new Twitter Files, Musk replied “yes.” Working with various journalists, Musk has released files in recent weeks on the inner workings of the social media giant, including its suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story and its decision to ban former President Trump from the platform shortly after the 2021 Capitol riot.
Fauci has faced intense backlash throughout the coronavirus pandemic for his guidance on masking, and other mitigation strategies, as well as his thoughts on the origins of the virus. He has enjoyed almost uniformly positive media coverage from mainstream outlets.
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Republicans are pressing forward with investigations into the “judgment” of Fauci, specifically over his connection to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fauci himself has agreed that it is important to uncover what caused the pandemic, noting that while he personally believes it was naturally derived, the possibility of the lab leak is still on the table. He has repeatedly denied his agency funded so-called “gain-of-function research” at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which involves manipulating a virus to make it more transmissible for research purposes.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.