Dr. Anthony Fauci has remained a stalwart in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to his role as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He joined the White House’s coronavirus task force, according to CNN, and worked with former President Donald Trump on stopping the spread.
However, Fauci and Trump had a strained relationship, and one that was only made worse as the two shared conflicting messages about the severity of the virus. Fauci even admitted that it was a difficult experience working with Trump, per The New York Times, and the doctor expressed optimism about his subsequent relationship with President Joe Biden, saying it’ll be a better relationship than the one he had with Trump.
Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, tested positive for the coronavirus on October 1st, 2020, according to NPR, and he was taken to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he received treatments until he was able to return to the White House. While Fauci wasn’t surprised by Trump’s diagnosis, the doctor has since made shocking statements about the event.
Dr. Anthony Fauci thought that former President Donald Trump was “lucky” that he recovered from his coronavirus diagnosis. In a February 2021 interview with The Telegraph, Fauci said that, considering Trump’s weight and age, things could have gone much worse. Fauci told the outlet,
“He could have gotten into serious trouble. I think he was quite fortunate.”
Fauci also had scathing words for the entire White House under Trump’s direction, calling the location a “Covid-19 superspreader.”
Trump is 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighs 244 pounds, according to the Daily Mail, and he was 74 years old when he contracted the virus, per The Guardian. Both age and being overweight are significant risks and increase the severity of the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Considering all of this, it may come as no surprise that Trump was in fact much sicker than he let on at the time. According to The New York Times, Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean P. Conley, had “repeatedly downplayed concerns about Mr. Trump’s condition during his illness.” Trump had to be administered oxygen during his treatment while he battled a high fever and dropping oxygen levels.
Dr. Anthony Fauci’s 60 Minutes interview in October 2020 was a concise summary of how he felt about Donald Trump and the former president’s relationship to COVID-19 safety measures. In the now-famous clip, when Fauci was asked if he was surprised that Trump got sick, he emphatically responded, “Absolutely not.”
Fauci added at the time,
“I was worried that he was going to get sick. When I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded… no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask.”
The 60 Minutes interview showed clips of Amy Coney Barrett’s swearing-in ceremony in the White House’s Rose Garden as Fauci said this.
“When I saw that on TV, I said, ‘Oh my goodness.'”
Fauci continued, as he covered his face with his hands.
Fauci didn’t hold back yet again in January when he spoke with CNN. When Fauci was asked if the lack of facts under Trump’s administration cost lives, the doctor said that “it very likely did.” But Fauci also said he “didn’t want to rehash it,” and instead focused optimistically on the future, especially with President Biden.
Dr. Fauci has spoken candidly about working under both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden. After Biden took over in January 2021, Fauci spoke with CNN and discussed Biden’s main priority in the coronavirus task force, which was restoring trust in the American people.
Fauci said he agrees with the goal, explaining,
“We’ve had a lot of divisiveness. We’ve had facts that were very, very clear that were questioned, people were not trusting what health officials were saying… masking became a political issue.”
Fauci supported Biden’s hope that everybody can get on the “same page” and, most importantly, to follow the advice of medical professionals.
Fauci stressed this idea again in a press conference at the White House shortly after Biden took office. According to USA Today, the doctor said,
“The idea that you can get up here and… let the science speak, it is somewhat of a liberating feeling.”
In fact, Biden himself stressed this from the State Dining room in January 2021, in rhetoric that was quite different from Trump’s:
“That’s why you’re going to be hearing a lot more from Dr. Fauci, not from the president, but from the real genuine experts and scientists.”
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