- The Director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases has joined the Task Force from the White House on the coronavirus last month.
- Faced with skepticism and the vagueness of Donald Trump, he sometimes had to correct the American president.
- He remains in the favors of the American president for the moment but has been the subject of death threats online.
On March 23, when Donald Trump gave his daily briefing, there was panic on Twitter: “But where is Doctor Fauci! ? False alarm: the infectious disease specialist, who became reassuring in the United States during this coronavirus crisis, was not fired for criticizing the American president the day before in an interview – he was just on a date you.
This episode illustrates well the difficulty of his mission: to inform the country while not hesitating to correct Donald Trump on the facts, even if it means risking presidential wrath. A complex exercise which earned him death threats on the Internet from alt-right trolls. Now, the good Dr. Fauci, who again, Thursday evening, demanded a national confinement to which the tenant of the White House is opposed, is protected by U.S. Marshals.
“The situation will get worse before it gets better”
In February, Donald Trump first downplays the severity of the pandemic. He says the virus “should go away with the heat in April”, then says it is “like the flu” and repeats that it “will disappear like a miracle soon”. Anthony Fauci, a world renowned infectious disease expert, then raised the alarm in the face of the United States Congress. No, he insists, Covid-19 is not just a flu, “the virus is more contagious and the death rate higher. The situation will get worse before it gets better. ” And, faced with the shortage of screening tests, he criticized the “failures” of the CDC (Center for the Control of Diseases).
Donald Trump then recruits him to join the Task Force White House Coronavirus Supervisor Supervised by Vice President Mike Pence. Director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases since the 1980s, Anthony Fauci, 79, has since participated with Deborah Birx in daily briefings led by the President.
Correct Trump gently
When the tenant of the White House suggested in early March that a vaccine would be available within “three to four months”, the expert immediately specifies: “We will not have a vaccine, we will start testing on a vaccine” . “As I told you, Mr. President, it will take a year to a year and a half” before distributing an effective and safe vaccine. When Donald Trump touts the “very encouraging” preliminary results of chloroquine, Fauci immediately resumes: studies on the subject are still “anecdotal”.
“I’m walking on a ridge line,” said Dr. Fauci recently. “I say things to the president that he does not want to hear and I have said publicly different things from what he assures. “I don’t want to embarrass him, I just want to give the facts,” he added in an exchange with the New york times. And when Donald Trump accuses China of not having communicated “three, four months earlier”, he patiently explains that it was back to September, long before the first cases appeared. “I’m not going to throw myself on the microphone to dismiss it,” said the doctor.
His truths about the pandemic are not well received by everyone. Alt-right trolls and conspiracy theorists accused him on Twitter of being a “liar” and an agent from the “Deep State” exaggerating the threat of the virus to torpedo Donald Trump’s chances of re-election in November.
According to the American media, he even received death threats. The US Marshals therefore assigned some of their security agents to security this week. The one that many call “National treasure” well deserves that.