Dr. Fauci Says He Contradicted Trump To Preserve His Own Integrity

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Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that he had to “stand up” to former President Donald Trump in order to preserve his personal integrity.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) became a household name two years ago due to his role in directing the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He often clashed with the Trump administration, generally offering cautionary words about rising cases of the virus while the president tended to place a focus on returning the country to normality as fast as possible.

Disagreements spiraled into calls for Trump to “fire Fauci” amongst Trump’s right-wing supporters, while the infectious disease expert also clashed multiple times with Republican Senator Rand Paul. Speaking at a National Press Foundation media briefing on June 28, Fauci opened up about his thoughts on his politicization and clashes with the former president after taking a question on the topic.

“During the Trump administration…I had the courage to stand up and have to contradict the president when I took no great pleasure in that,” Fauci said. “I have a great deal of respect for the presidency of the United States, and I don’t like to have to get up publicly and contradict something he said.”

However, Fauci added: “There were many things he said early on that I had to [contradict] for the sake of preserving my own integrity, as well as my responsibility to the American public—and I feel a very deep responsibility to the American public.”

Fauci said his comments in contradiction of Trump “triggered a phenomenal amount of enmity against me” from Trump supporters that had persisted even after the Biden administration came into power—though he said he has also become “symbolic of truth and integrity” to others.

Following Trump’s departure from the White House, Fauci has continued to spar with Paul on subjects such as the origins of COVID and money tied to vaccines.

Last year, the Kentucky senator called for Fauci to resign amid accusations that the National Institutes of Health had funded research in China involving altering viruses in order to investigate future outbreaks, or “gain-of-function” research. Fauci repeatedly denied any responsibility for the COVID pandemic and highlighted evidence that the virus was naturally occurring.

He has in turn accused Paul of using “completely untrue” attacks against him in an effort to raise funds from Republican supporters.

“I have threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me,” Fauci said during a hearing in January this year.

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