Speed Reads


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

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."

But there's only so much he can do when Trump says something factually wrong, Fauci told Cohen. "What do you want me to do? I mean, seriously Jon, let's get real, what do you want me to do?" he asked. "I can't jump in front of the microphone and push him down." When Cohen asked if Fauci got blowback for covering his face when Trump criticized the "Deep State Department," Fauci replied with a diplomatic "no comment." Read the entire interview at Science.