Top coronavirus doctor Anthony Fauci has some theories on why Trump hasn't fired him

Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci
(Image credit: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the 79-year-old longtime head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the person least likely to gratuitously praise President Trump on his coronavirus task force, is "sort of exhausted" but he's "not, to my knowledge, coronavirus infected," Fauci told Science's Jon Cohen. "To my knowledge, I haven't been fired," he added, laughing. Cohen asked how he'd managed to keep his job, despite publicly contradicting Trump. "Well, that's pretty interesting because to his credit, even though we disagree on some things, he listens," Fauci said. "He has his own style. But on substantive issues, he does listen to what I say."

Fauci called the speculation about his job status "kind of funny but understandable" in a Thursday interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, she reported Saturday. "People said, 'What the hell's the matter with Fauci?' because I had been walking a fine line," he said. "I have publicly had to say something different with what he states. It's a risky business. But that's my style, Maureen. You know me for many years. I say it the way it is, and if he's gonna get pissed off, he's gonna get pissed off. Thankfully, he is not. Interestingly." Fauci added that he doesn't "want to embarrass" Trump, "I don't want to act like a tough guy, like I stood up to the president. I just want to get the facts out," and "he gets that. He's a smart guy."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.