Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci revealed in an interview how he would often get scolded by former President Trump for being so pessimistic about the coronavirus pandemic.
Fauci described what working with former President Trump was like in an interview with The New York Times published Sunday, noting how he would often get scolded for being so pessimistic with his responses and outlook.
Exclusive: In a Times interview, Dr. Anthony Fauci describes receiving death threats and a powder-filled letter during his fraught year advising Donald Trump. https://t.co/sYnZosyWRu
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Fauci explained how he wanted “to express the gravity of the situation,” while Trump‘s approach was to try to downplay the situation. Fauci said the former president would ask, “Well, it’s not that bad, right?” (RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says He’s Honored For US To Rejoin World Health Organization)
“I’m not going to proactively go out and volunteer my contradiction of what the president said,” Fauci said. “But he would say something that clearly was not correct, and then a reporter would say, ‘Well, let’s hear from Dr. Fauci.'”
“I would have to get up and say, ‘No, I’m sorry, I do not think that is the case,'” he added.
Fauci noted that he didn’t want to contradict the former president. “I have a great deal of respect for the office. But I made a decision that I just had to.”
On several occasions, the president would question Fauci as to why he wasn’t more positive. “You’ve got to take a positive attitude. Why are you so negativistic? Be more positive,” Trump said according to Fauci.
However, even as their relationship became more strained Dr. Fauci said that he never thought of quitting. His wife however brought up the idea that he might want to ponder whether or not he should quit.
“She’s an incredibly wise person, knows me better than anybody else in the world, obviously,” he said. He explained that she asked him whether he wanted to make a pro versus cons list about quitting.