Dr Fauci says Trump did ‘terrible things’ to him and now has to live under armed security

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Graig Graziosi
·3 min read
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Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a news conference on 21 January 2021 (EPA)
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a news conference on 21 January 2021 (EPA)

Donald Trump would do "terrible things" anytime Dr Anthony Fauci disagreed with him publicly, the doctor revealed in a recently released interview.

The Mr Trump's antagonistic behaviour towards Dr Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, inspired his supporters to do the same. Now, Dr Fauci has to live under the care of armed guards since last April.

During an interview with The Telegraph, Dr Fauci - who became a household name thanks to his press conference appearances in the early days of the coronavirus's spread throughout the US, often times looking dismayed by Mr Trump's comments - said the former president was vindictive and used his loyalists in other government offices to undermine him.

“Like he allowed [White House trade adviser] Peter Navarro to write an editorial in USA Today saying that almost everything I’ve ever said was wrong,” the doctor said. “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.”

Mr Trump's frustration with Dr Fauci quickly became apparent as the doctor regularly contradicted him and quickly became liberal Americans' preferred source of information regarding the pandemic. Dr Fauci became a minor celebrity, while Mr Trump faced mountain of criticism for his botched response to the pandemic.

Eventually, Mr Trump sidelined Dr Fauci, barring him from further public appearances, and replaced him with Dr Scott Atlas, who was loyal to the president.

Mr Atlas had no expertise in infectious diseases and often parroted whatever talking point Mr Trump was pushing at the time.

Dr Fauci - who has worked with six presidents - said Mr Trump was not the first president he struggled to work alongside.

In the 1980's, Dr Fauci was serving under former President Ronald Reagan, and recalled the Republican's reluctance to take the AIDS crisis ravaging the LBGT community seriously.

Even still, Dr Fauci felt his relationship with that president was significantly better than the one he shared with Mr Trump, claiming Mr Reagan "never did anything to obstruct what I was trying to do."

He said Mr Trump's reliance on bunk "science" and insistence on repeating conspiracy theories directly undermined his attempts to let facts guide the country's coronavirus response.

“I was trying to let science guide our policy, but [Mr Trump] 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.”

Mr Trump became fed up with Dr Fauci questioning and correcting him, and disparaged him both privately and publicly.

“People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” Mr Trump said during a call with his staffers last year. “Fauci is a disaster.

The president also complained about the positive media attention Dr Fauci received.

Near the end of his time in office, Mr Trump - who was still convinced he would have a second term - openly pondered firing Dr Fauci.

Mr Trump's former strategist and ally, Steve Bannon, agreed with the idea and wanted it to be taken an extreme step further; he called for the doctor's head to be posted on a spike outside the White House.

“Now I actually want to go a step farther, but I realize the president is a kind-hearted man and a good man,” Mr Bannon said. “I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England, I’d put the heads on pikes, right, I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you’re gone – time to stop playing games.”

Dr Fauci called the comments "very unusual."

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