(TStarnes) – Fauci is getting slammed for laughing about the origins of the virus that shut down the country, joking he whipped it up in his kitchen.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the White House’s chief epidemiologist throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, is taking some heat from conservatives regarding a recent joke about the origin of the coronavirus.

While participating in a roundtable discussion at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center campus in Seattle this week, Fauci and Dr. Larry Corey had the following light exchange:

Corey: “At the epicenter of the initial outbreak, WA1 – Washington 1 is considered the ancestral model strain.”

Fauci (jokingly): “No, I developed the ancestral model strain. I created it.”

Corey (laughing): “That’s right, you let it loose.”

Fauci (joking): “I was in my kitchen, and I …” while pretending to drop an imaginary object to the floor.

Corey: “Gain-of-function, there we go.”

Corey then referenced Fauci intending to make Italian meatballs that hypothetical day in his kitchen, but ended up inventing COVID-19.

The Hutchinson Center audience laughed at the byplay between the doctors.