In a new interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, Dr. Anthony Fauci opened up about the unique challenges of serving on President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases called it “kind of funny but understandable that people said, ‘What the hell’s the matter with Fauci?’ because I had been walking a fine line.”
“I’ve been telling the president things he doesn’t want to hear. I have publicly had to say something different with what he states,” he continued, explaining that he’s engaged in “risky business” but insisting that Trump is not and has not been “pissed off” at him to date.
“I don’t want to embarrass him,” Fauci added. “I don’t want to act like a tough guy, like I stood up to the president. I just want to get the facts out. And instead of saying, ‘You’re wrong,’ all you need to do is continually talk about what the data are and what the evidence is. And he gets that. He’s a smart guy. He’s not a dummy. So he doesn’t take it—certainly up to now—he doesn’t take it in a way that I’m confronting him in any way. He takes it in a good way.”
As recently as this past Friday, Dr. Fauci had to publicly tamp down expectations for the anti-malarial drug that Trump has been touting as a miracle cure for COVID-19.