In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph published this Friday, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, shed some light on his mindset during his time with the Trump administration as the coronavirus pandemic surged.
Fauci said that after joining Trump’s coronavirus task force, he knew he’d be in for a rough ride “when it became clear that in order to maintain my integrity and to get the right message [across] I had to publicly disagree with him, he did things – or allowed things to happen – that were terrible.”
“Like he allowed Peter Navarro [Trump’s trade adviser] to write an editorial in USA Today saying that almost everything I’ve ever said was wrong. He allowed the communications department of the White House to send out a list to all of the media, all of the networks, all of the cables, all of the print press, about all of the mistakes I’ve made, which was absolute nonsense because there were no mistakes,” he told the Telegraph.
He then directly accused Trump of putting his life in danger, saying that the former President’s confrontational rhetoric towards him turned a segment of the public against him, particularly within far-right circles — “to the point that to this day I have to have armed federal agents guarding me all the time.” He added that his wife and children were also harassed.
Fauci said that then-Vice President Mike Pence “really tried his very best to address the outbreak” while trying to remain in Trump’s good graces.
“But my influence with [Trump] diminished when he decided to essentially act like there was no outbreak and focus on re-election and opening the economy… That’s when he said, ‘It’s going to go away, it’s magical, don’t worry about it,'” Fauci said, adding that his relationship with Trump at that point became “more conflictual than productive.”
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