Speaking to CNN‘s Jim Acosta on Sunday, America’s top infectious disease expert teased he would likely resign before serving as an advisor to Trump again.
‘If Trump were to return to the White House as President, and COVID was still a threat or there was some other public health emergency, would you have confidence in his ability to deal with a pandemic of this nature? Would you want to stay on at your post?’ Acosta asked Fauci.
‘Well, no to the second question,’ Fauci answered between nervous laughs.
‘The first question, if you look at the history of what the response was during the administration, I think at best you could say it wasn’t optimal.’
He continued: ‘And I think just history will speak for itself. I don’t need to make any further comment about that, it’s not productive.’
Fauci and Trump have a history of clashes on high-profile public health issues.
Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor was reportedly sidelined by the Trump White House, rarely appearing in press briefings and kept from doing interviews with major news outlets.
He often resorted to spreading his message about COVID through local news interviews and podcasts.
Meanwhile, Trump made his displeasure with Fauci known, at one point calling him an ‘idiot’, and publicly mulling firing him.
Fauci, 82, has been the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases since 1984.
He was appointed as Chief Medical Advisor to the Biden administration in 2021. Fauci has spent decades advising U.S. presidents on disease outbreaks and became a public figure during the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic.
Speaking to CNN ‘s Jim Acosta on Sunday, America’s top infectious disease expert teased he would likely resign before serving as an advisor to Trump again
Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor and the 45th POTUS have a history of impasses. Fauci was sidelined by the Trump White House, rarely appearing in press briefings and kept from doing interviews with major news outlets. Meanwhile, Trump made his displeasure with Fauci known, called him an ‘idiot’, and publicly mulled firing him (File photo)
The rocky relationship between the former president and Fauci became evident at the beginning of the pandemic, as Trump became increasingly resistant to pushing Americans to follow restrictive health guidelines advised by Fauci.
In 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 they were things that were said, regarding things like hydroxychloroquine and other things like that. That really was uncomfortable because they were not based on scientific fact, I can tell you I take no pleasure at all in being in a situation of contradicting the president,’ he said.
Trump took a dose of the drug to ward off the coronavirus – a practice many experts expressed concern about. He ultimately got the virus and recovered.
‘You didn’t feel like you could say something and there wouldn’t be repercussions,’ he said.
Of the Biden administration’s stance toward him, Fauci said: ‘It is somewhat of a liberating feeling.’
‘The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know, what the evidence – what the science is, and know that’s it, let the science speak, it is somewhat of a liberating feeling,’ Fauci noted.
‘One of the new things in this administration is: 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 were very clear as recently as about 15 minutes ago, when I was with the president, is that one of the things that we’re going to do is to be completely transparent open, and honest if things go wrong.
Asked if there was anything he wanted to clarify or amend that he said during the Trump administration, Fauci said there was simply nothing.
‘No, I mean I always said everything,’ Fauci said. ‘That’s why I got trouble sometimes.’
The rocky relationship between the former president and Fauci became evident at the beginning of the pandemic, as Trump was resistant to pushing Americans to follow health guidelines advised by Fauci (File photo)
In reflecting on his relationship with Trump after Biden was sworn in, Fauci noted in January 2021 that it felt liberating to be allowed to ‘let science speak’
In October 2020, Trump called Fauci an ‘idiot’ and a ‘disaster’ during a phone call with campaign staff and said: ‘People are tired of COVID.’
In the leaked call, Trump vented about lockdowns and Fauci in particular, after the expert expressed increasing frustration with the lack of direction on social distancing and mask-wearing measures that Fauci said could have saved thousands of lives.
‘Every time he goes on television, there’s always a bomb, but there’s a bigger bomb if you fire him. This guy’s a disaster,’ Trump vented.
When asked to share his thoughts on then-emerging COVID-19 ‘hotspots’ – including Texas and Florida – Trump blamed Fauci for ‘making a lot of mistakes’.
‘… Dr. Fauci is a nice man but he’s made a lot of mistakes,’ Trump told Fox in January 2020.
‘I thought rather than firing him, you know, I listened to him, but I didn’t do what he said because, frankly, his record is not a good record,’ Trump added.
The former president also mocked the use of masks, a public health measure often endorsed loudly by Fauci, who said he ultimately had to hire a security detail due to the volume of death threats made against him and his family.