(The Hill) — Twitter CEO Elon Musk fired back on Sunday night after facing backlash for tweeting that his pronouns are “Prosecute/Fauci” earlier in the day.

“Elon, please don’t mock and promote hate toward already marginalized and at-risk-of-violence members of the #LGBTQ+ community,” Astronaut Scott Kelly, the twin brother of Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), responded to Musk’s tweet. “They are real people with real feelings. Furthermore, Dr Fauci is a dedicated public servant whose sole motivation was saving lives.”


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“I strongly disagree,” Musk replied. “Forcing your pronouns upon others when they didn’t ask, and implicitly ostracizing those who don’t, is neither good nor kind to anyone. As for Fauci, he lied to Congress and funded gain-of-function research that killed millions of people. Not awesome imo.”

Multiple Republicans, including Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), have pressed Fauci on whether the National Institutes of Health has ever funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a claim Fauci has said is “entirely and completely incorrect,” as part of the Republicans’ claims that COVID-19 escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China.

House Republicans have repeatedly floated plans to investigate Fauci upon taking the House majority in January, a scenario Fauci has acknowledged. He has also indicated he will cooperate with any investigations.

Musk’s Sunday evening tweet is the latest attack against the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, who plans to step down from his government roles later this month.

The newly minted Twitter CEO also previewed plans to release internal files from the company’s internal systems showing how the social media platform grappled with pandemic-related decisions, dubbed the “Twitter Files.”

Musk at times has sparred with Fauci and infectious disease experts, calling concern over the virus “dumb” in the early days of the pandemic and ending Twitter’s policies about COVID-19 misinformation once he took over the company.

He later shared a meme on Sunday showing Fauci telling Biden, “Just one more lockdown, my king.” 

“The woke mind virus is either defeated or nothing else matters,” Musk tweeted on Monday morning.