Anthony Fauci has made it clear that defeating the coronavirus pandemic will require buy-in from everyone. Yet he’s spent the past two weeks positioning himself as an adversarial figure to tens of millions who still support former President Donald Trump.
It was no secret that Fauci and Trump didn’t get along. But Fauci at least made the effort to remain professional while working with the Trump administration, urging news media not to create a rift between him and the former president that could affect millions of people’s health decisions. Now, however, he has dropped the act. He openly disparaged Trump during his first press conference with the Biden administration and has taken the opportunity to criticize him in every media interview since.
Anyone who took the time to read the many magazine covers Fauci appeared on this past year, or watch the daily coronavirus press briefings he headlined, knows he was free to speak his mind. So, it seems Fauci’s point about feeling liberated was really just a reference to his newfound ability to criticize Trump without consequence. He’s already putting it to good use: In a matter of days, he accused the former president of launching a “chilling” pressure campaign against him, repeating “complete garbage” about the coronavirus, and trying to throw him “in the middle of a very contentious political battle,” all of which he found “really very infuriating.”
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