The long goodbye for the retiring Dr. Anthony S. Fauci drags on with the 82-year-old career bureaucrat hitting the media circuit for one final extended lovefest to defend his controversial COVID policies and to take pot shots at his critics, including his ex-boss, former President Donald J. Trump, a man who he frequently clashed with.
Fauci’s latest stop on his farewell tour was an interview with CNN anchor Chris Wallace that aired on the latest edition of “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace,” a show featuring CNN’s high priced acquisition chatting up celebrities and few have had greater star power over the last two and a half years than Fauci, who burst out of relative anonymity to become the nation’s official face of the pandemic.
During his talk with Wallace, the elfin government employee who has been dug in as the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since Ronald Reagan’s first term in the White House, the topic predictably turned to Trump.
“What do you think of Donald Trump?” Wallace asked.
“Well, I don’t want to get into the politics of it,” Fauci snickered. “So it is irrelevant what I think of Donald Trump.”
— Tommy moderna-vaX-Topher (@tommyxtopher) December 10, 2022
Undeterred, Wallace rephrased his question, “What do you think of him from a public health standpoint?”
“Well, as you know, I had difficulty in that administration,” Fauci replied. “Because what was happening is that it became very clear that things were being said, by the President, those around him which were just not based on any scientific fact and data. In fact, it was contrary to what the data was showing. And I you know, I felt very uncomfortable about having to publicly get up at the White House press room, and being put on the spot to directly disagree with the President.”
“I have such a great deal of respect for the office of the presidency that it just made me very uncomfortable, but I had to do it, Chris, because I couldn’t stand there and be complicit in saying hydroxychloroquine works when it doesn’t, you know, bleach works. It doesn’t. The virus is going to go away like magic. It’s not,” he added, repeating the falsehood that Trump told Americans to drink or inject bleach as a remedy, a big lie that like the “very fine people on both sides” Charlottesville whopper, continues to be served up by cynical Democrat operatives.
“And when I did that, I created this this growing enmity against me by those around him and those who are associated with him,” Fauci continued. “And that’s how I evolved essentially, in the, you know, public enemy number one of the far right, which I did not desire to be put in that position. But in order to maintain my own scientific and personal integrity, and most importantly, fulfill my responsibility to the American public, I had to do that. And now there are consequences to that you don’t get up and, you know, publicly have to criticize and disagree with someone who has such a very strong following. And that’s why I find myself in the position I’m in right now.”
Fauci is expected to face investigation from the incoming Republican House majority but can always count on his friends in the media to have his back.
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