National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview Friday night on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” that it was “chilling” how President Donald Trump “distorted” and “rejected” science.
Fauci said, “It was such an unusual, aberrant situation where you had at the very top — and I don’t take any great pleasure in criticizing president leadership or the people around a president, but we had a situation where science was rejected, and a lot of pressure was put on individuals and organizations to do things that were not directly related to what their best opinion would be, vis-a-vis the science. I had pressure put on me, but I resisted it. I had to do something that was not comfortable, but I did it, and I had to be directly contradicting not only the president but some of the people around the president who were saying things that just were not consistent with the science.”
He continued, “I am not a political appointee. So, you know, this whole idea about, you know, we’re going to fire him and that kind of stuff. I mean, I didn’t want to be at odds with the president because I have a lot of respect for the office of the presidency, but there was conflict at different levels with different people and different organizations, and a lot of pressure being put on to do things that just are not capable with the science. I think the only way that happens is when you have leadership from the very top and people surrounding the leadership that essentially let that happen.”
He added, “I’ve served now, this is my seventh administration, and I’ve been advising administrations and presidents on both sides of the aisle, Republicans and Democrats, people with different ideologies, and even with differences in ideology, there never was this real affront on science. So it really was an aberrancy that I hadn’t seen in the almost 40 years I’ve been doing this. So it’s just one of those things that are chilling when you see it happen.”
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