Dr. Anthony Fauci reveals his ongoing battle to reason with Trump in surprisingly candid interview: 'You have to say things 1, 2, 3, 4 times'

Dr. Anthony Fauci reveals his ongoing battle to reason with Trump in surprisingly candid interview: 'You have to say things 1, 2, 3, 4 times'
Fogarty held its 50th anniversary symposium, "What are the new frontiers in global health research?" on May 1, 2018, at NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. The tools exist to bring the end of HIV/AIDS but implementation must be improved, said National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony S. Fauci.

During an interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci — director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) — for Science Magazine, writer Jon Cohen asked the well-known immunologist a blunt question: how has he managed to avoid getting fired from President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force? Fauci responded that despite disagreements “on some things,” Trump “does listen to what I say.” But Fauci, during the interview, went on to say that he has to repeat himself a lot with Trump — and some pundits are saying Fauci probably would have been fired by now were he not so widely respected.


Fauci told Cohen, “When you’re dealing with the White House, sometimes you have to say things one, two, three, four times — and then, it happens. So, I’m going to keep pushing.”

When the Washington Post’s Jenna Johnson tweeted the interview and highlighted the “one, two, three, four times” quote, Twitter user Josh Jordan responded, “This quote is really stunning, and if Fauci wasn’t so well respected by both sides right now, Trump would’ve fired him this morning.”

Another Twitter user,  @heelsoneal, asserted, “The MAGAs started attacking Fauci this weekend. They think he's part of the deep state.”

During the interview, Fauci described some of his disagreements with Trump — for example, watching the president recently shaking hands with people in the White House Rose Garden.

“We should not be doing that,” Fauci said of Trump continuing to shake hands. “Not only that — we should be physically separating a bit more on those press conferences. To his credit, the Vice President (Mike Pence) is really pushing for physical separation of the task force (during meetings). He keeps people out of the room; as soon as the room gets like more than 10 people or so, it’s ,‘Out, everybody else out. Go to a different room.’”

When Cohen brought up the fact that “there are certainly more than ten journalists in the audience” during White House media events — which health experts are saying is problematic from a social distancing standpoint— Fauci responded, “I know that. I’m trying my best. I cannot do the impossible.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.