When Fauci likened Trump supporters to 'crazy people in this world'. Here's what happened
- In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when Dr Anthony Fauci warned against the sudden reopening of businesses, Trump termed protesters demanding to end stay-at-home orders as “great people.”
Top US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci’s friction with the previous administration under President Donald Trump is no secret. While Fauci, in the early days of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, pushed for masking and warned against the sudden reopening of businesses, Trump showed reluctance in wearing a face mask and termed protesters demanding to end stay-at-home orders as “great people.”
At one point, Fauci, who was on the White House coronavirus task force, even acknowledged that he was no longer in frequent contact with Trump after their contradictory stance on easing of restrictions. The latest trove of emails, obtained by The Washington Post as part of a Freedom of Information Act request, shed more light on Fauci’s response to thousands of requests and queries between March and April 2020.
Even as Trump frequently attacked China for not containing coronavirus after detecting it first in Wuhan, Fauci and top Chinese health official, George Gao, sought to maintain ties with each other. In one of the emails, published by the Post, Gao gave clarification to Fauci after Science magazine quoted the Chinese scientist saying that the US and other Western nations were making a “big mistake” by encouraging people to mask up.
“I saw the Science interview, how could I say such a word ‘big mistake’ about others? That was journalist’s wording. Hope you understand,” Gao, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wrote to Fauci, according to the Post.
“I understand completely. No problem. We will get through this together,” Fauci replied.
In an interview with the New York Times, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases talked about the death threats he had started receiving in mid-March last year. Fauci revealed that one day he received a letter in the mail with a powdered substance in it and he accidentally got it all over his face, calling the incident “very, very disturbing”. After he faced threats from Trump supporters, Gao emailed him again, according to the report.
“I saw some news (hope it is fake) that [you] are being attacked by some people. Hope you are well under such a irrational situation,” Gao, a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, wrote on April 8, reported the Washington Post.
“Thank you for your kind note,” Fauci replied, as per the published correspondence. “All is well despite some crazy people in this world.”
The security detail for the infectious disease expert was expanded to full time after the threats from the “crazy people”.