During these pandemic times and on these pandemic streets, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is the lone adult in the room.
He’s literally the only one in Trump’s administration who knows what the fuck he’s talking about.
The problem is the president—the man tasked with calming America’s fears during these unprecedented, scary AF times—is a goddamn egomaniac who is more concerned with Twitter beefs, throwing shade and misunderstanding reporters’ questions so he can drive home his true talking points: that he is doing a wonderful job and the response has been swift and steadfast and if there is a mess, it’s left over from the Obama administration.
Even Fauci is getting tired of the president’s bullshit.
On Sunday, the renowned immunologist gave a telling interview about his relationship with the President and his lies. Science Magazine’s Jon Cohen asked NIAID’s leader his thoughts on “the representative of truth and facts” when “things are being said that aren’t true and aren’t factual.” The 79-year-old simply responded he’s just doing the best he can.
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“I can’t jump in front of the microphone and push him down,” Fauci said, referencing Trump. “Okay, he said it. Let’s try and get it corrected for the next time.”
But that’s just it. America, the real America, the America that didn’t lie about supporting Hillary Clinton only to get in the voting booth and lie, would love for him to do it. Just knock Trump’s lying ass out of the way and tell the truth.
From the Washington Post:
On more than one occasion, Fauci, described by The Washington Post’s Ellen McCarthy and Ben Terris as “the grandfatherly captain of the coronavirus crisis,” has found himself in the uncomfortable position of having to publicly contradict the president—a risky action that could conceivably jeopardize the scientist’s job.
Fauci acknowledged as much on Sunday.
“To my knowledge, I haven’t been fired,” he told Cohen, laughing.
Most recently, Fauci has sought to temper Trump’s comments touting an old anti-malarial drug as a potential treatment for covid-19. At a news conference Friday, one day after Trump called the medicine a possible “game-changer,” Fauci said the only evidence of the drug’s promise so far has been “anecdotal,” adding, “So you really can’t make any definitive statement about it.”
Dr. Fauci—the other doctor in Trump’s administration is Dr. Ben Carson, and he’s the doctor of houses—tried to downplay any tension (read, keep his job) during an appearance on Face the Nation Sunday.
He claimed “there isn’t, fundamentally, a difference” between him and Trump, adding, “I was taking a purely medical, scientific standpoint, and the president was trying to bring hope to the people.”
But that’s the thing: Trump’s not even doing that. It’d be one thing if his lies were for the betterment of the people’s spirit, like when South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham tells Trump that he doesn’t look fat in his golf pants. But Trump’s lies are only to serve himself.
He wants to be seen as a “wartime president” whose response to the crisis was prompt and effective. He wants to be remembered as the true “leader of the free world” who beat the coronavirus when the truth is vastly different. However, Fauci did stand his ground on one point. The good doctor noted that he’s never called the coronavirus the “China virus” or “Chinese virus,” which Trump does freely despite being told on several occasions that the term is divisive, xenophobic and dangerous.
Fauci wants America to know that his hands are tied. He literally can only do so much and even gave a look into what his life is like working with a president who doesn’t fucking listen.
“We sit down for an hour and a half, go over all the issues on the agenda,” he said, noting that the group even emphasizes points they want to drive home.
“Then we go in to see the president, we present [our consensus] to him and somebody writes a speech,” he explained, adding, “Then he gets up and ad-libs on his speech. And then we’re up there to try and answer questions.”
Watch Dr. Fauci’s reaction when Trump ad-libs a “deep state” joke into his speech.
He literally can’t stop cringing. And if you think Fauci hasn’t addressed the close quarters during press conferences, then you’re wrong.
“I keep saying, is there any way we can get a virtual press conference,” he said, the Post reports. “Thus far, no. But when you’re dealing with the White House, sometimes you have to say things 1,2,3,4 times, and then it happens. So I’m going to keep pushing.”
And therein lies the problem. Fauci is working with a goddamn idiot who refuses to listen to reason and common sense, and the only thing he can do is try and keep suggesting something until one day Trump believes the idea is his and thus the idea becomes reality.
Even Fauci knows being too honest might cost him his job, so he’s got to finesse his position so that he doesn’t upstage the imbecile occupying the White House.
“I don’t think they’re going to try to silence me. I think that would be foolish on their part,” he told the Atlantic. “I think, in some respects, they welcome my voice out there telling the truth. I’m going to keep doing it. And no matter what happens to me, I’m going to keep doing it.”