In a candid new interview with Science magazine, Dr. Anthony Fauci — literally the only reassuring face you see during the relentless press briefings conducted under the auspices of the “Coronavirus Task Force,” the hastily-assembled, Pence-led team of mostly PR artists — let slip a detail that many of us might have assumed about Donald Trump, but don’t have the first-hand experience to have asserted it.
To his eternal credit, the answers that Fauci delivers in the interview are so gently phrased, so deliberately crafted, that it seems as though he’s been working with stubborn Trump types forever, sparing their feelings and allowing for whatever personal issues they may have: He does that in spades for the tantrum-tendent Trump.
Asked about the disagreements that he frequently has trouble keeping off his face during the briefings, Fauci limits them to a difference in style: “It is expressed in a way that I would not express it, because it could lead to some misunderstanding about what the facts are about a given subject.”
Well, that’s nice, Dr. Fauci.
But the problem is, as nicely as the Director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases says things about his clear conflicts of ideology with the Trump administration, they do indicate a pretty important and stark contrast between science and wishful thinking.
Perhaps the most troubling thing, in fact, that Dr. Fauci admitted to the journal was that he often has to repeat himself in order to get something into the President’s head properly. And not just repeat himself, but repeat himself. Although he praises Vice President Pence for doing a somewhat commendable job at maintaining distancing between people at the pressers, he’s frustrated that they must still take place in person. Addressing that, Dr. Fauci let slip something far more disturbing than just a disagreement over whether or not it could be done remotely:
I keep saying, ‘Is there any way we can get a virtual press conference?’ Thus far, no. But when you’re dealing with the White House, sometimes you have to say things one, two, three, four times, and then it happens. So, I’m going to keep pushing.”
When my children were small, I had a limit of three times I would repeat myself before there were some consequences for their obstinance.
Let’s hope Trump’s consequences come in November.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons
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