Fauci says in CNN interview he’d likely resign if Trump won re-election
Dr Anthony Fauci has blasted Donald Trump’s “less than optimal” response to COVID-19 while in office, and admitted he doesn’t want to serve under the former president if re-elected in 2024.
Talk to CNN‘s Jim Acosta on Sunday, America’s top infectious disease expert teased that he would likely resign before serving as Trump’s adviser again.
“If Trump were to return to the White House as President and COVID was still a threat or there was another public health emergency, would you be confident in his ability to deal with a pandemic of this nature? Would you like to stay at your post? Acosta asked Fauci.
“Well, no to the second question,” Fauci replied between nervous laughs.
“The first question, if you look at the history of the response during administration, I think at best you could say it was not optimal.”
He continued, “And I think the story will speak for itself. I don’t need to comment further on this, it’s not productive.
Fauci and Trump have a history of clashes over high-profile public health issues.
Biden’s chief medical adviser has reportedly been sidelined by Trump’s White House, rarely appearing at press briefings and barred from doing interviews with major news outlets.
He often resorted to spreading his COVID message through interviews and podcasts in local newspapers.
Meanwhile, Trump has made his displeasure with Fauci known, at one point calling him an “idiot” and publicly considering firing him.
Fauci, 82, has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.
He was named chief medical adviser to the Biden administration in 2021. Fauci has spent decades advising US presidents on disease outbreaks and became a public figure during the AIDS epidemic.
Speaking to CNN’s Jim Acosta on Sunday, America’s top infectious disease expert teased that he would likely step down before serving as an adviser to Trump again.
Biden’s chief medical adviser and the 45th POTUS have a history of stalemates. Fauci has been sidelined by the Trump White House, rarely appearing at press briefings and barred from doing interviews with major news outlets. Meanwhile, Trump has made his displeasure with Fauci known, called him an ‘idiot’ and publicly considered firing him (file photo)
The difficult relationship between the former president and Fauci became evident at the start of the pandemic, as Trump grew increasingly resistant to pushing Americans to follow restrictive health guidelines advised by Fauci.
Reflecting on his relationship with Trump after Biden was sworn in, Fauci noted in January 2021 that he took no joy in contradicting the former commander-in-chief.
“It was very clear that these are things that have been said, regarding things like hydroxychloroquine and other things like that. It was really uncomfortable because they weren’t based on scientific fact, I can tell you I take no pleasure in being in a situation to contradict the president,” he said.
Trump took a dose of the drug to ward off the coronavirus – a practice many experts have expressed concern about. He eventually caught the virus and recovered.
“You didn’t feel like you could say anything and there wouldn’t be any repercussions,” he said.
Of the Biden administration’s stance on him, Fauci said, “It’s a bit of a freeing feeling.”
“The idea that you can stand up here and talk about what you know, the evidence – about what the science is, and just know that’s it, let the science do the talking, that’s kind of a feeling liberating,” Fauci noted.
“One of the new things about this administration is this: If you don’t know the answer, don’t guess. Just say you don’t know the answer,” Fauci added last year.
“One of the things that was very clear just 15 minutes ago when I was with the president is that one of the things we’re going to do is be completely transparent and open and honest if things go wrong. .
When asked if there was anything he wanted to clarify or change that he had said during the Trump administration, Fauci said there was simply nothing.
“No, I mean I always said it all,” Fauci said. “That’s why I sometimes get in trouble. »
The difficult relationship between the former president and Fauci became evident at the start of the pandemic, as Trump was reluctant to push Americans to follow health guidelines advised by Fauci (file photo)
Reflecting on his relationship with Trump after Biden was sworn in, Fauci noted in January 2021 that it was liberating to be allowed to “let the science do the talking.”
In October 2020, Trump called Fauci an “idiot” and a “disaster” during a phone call with campaign staff and said, “People are sick of COVID.”
In the leaked call, Trump spoke out about the lockdowns and Fauci in particular, after the expert expressed growing frustration over the lack of direction on social distancing and mask-wearing measures which Fauci said, could have saved thousands of lives.
“Every time he’s on TV there’s always a bombshell, but there’s a bigger bombshell if you fire him. This guy is a disaster,’ Trump said.
When asked to share his thoughts on then-emerging COVID-19 “hotspots” — including Texas and Florida — Trump accused Fauci of “making a lot of mistakes.”
“…Dr. Fauci is a nice man but he made a lot of mistakes,” Trump told Fox in January 2020.
“I thought rather than fire him, you know, I listened to him, but I didn’t do what he said because, frankly, his record is not a good record,” he said. added Trump.
The former president also mocked the use of masks, a public health measure often endorsed out loud by Fauci, who said he eventually had to hire a security guard due to the volume of threats from death pronounced against him and his family.