In an interview with CNN’s John Berman on Wednesday, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAID) director said although death threats came and went, they were “extraordinary” and unlike anything he has had before.
“The threats come and go, it’s just really amazing,” said the NIAID director. “I could say something to you that somebody doesn’t like, like ‘you shouldn’t be removing mask mandates’, and then all of a sudden you get a bunch of threats because people don’t like what you say.”
“It’s just extraordinary,” he added. “I’ve never experienced anything like before, for sure. And I hope I never will again after this.”
Before becoming the public face of the United States’s response to Covid-19 in spring last year, the NAID director had advised as many as six US administrations on crises including HIV/AIDS.
Not for the first time, Dr Fauci suggested that former US president Donald Trump — who publicly fought with the NIAID director and Covid-19 task force member — created a negative atmosphere that went against scientific advice.
“The situation right now is, things are going really well. The Biden team is working very very hard to get the science to be right up on the forefront,” Dr Fauci told Mr Berman on CNN.
“It’s a completely different kind of atmosphere [to the Trump White House]. It’s always looking ahead, but how we can do better, with the main focus on the public health aspects of it. Without the distractions from the other things we knew before”.
Dr Fauci told the Telegraph in a recent interview that he started receiving death threats almost immediately for his response to Covid-19, and described the former president as a “counter-influence”.
‘[He] was almost a counter-influence to what I was trying to do. I was trying to let science guide our policy, but the president was putting as much stock in anecdotal things that turned out not to be true as he was in what scientists like myself were saying,” Dr Fauci said.
“That caused unnecessary and uncomfortable conflict where I had to essentially correct what he was saying, and put me at great odds with his people.”
The threats received by Dr Fauci included a letter containing a benign powered substance that was delivered to his front door, which he described as “very, very disturbing” to him and his family.
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