Dr. Anthony Fauci's new normal is less normal than anyone’s during this year of the coronavirus. As the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)—and perhaps the most widely trusted voice on the White House coronavirus task force—he has been revered and reviled, sometimes by his own boss, President Donald Trump, the sixth president under whom he has served. Just in the past seven days, he threw out the first pitch of the baseball season and was featured on a Topps baseball card.
A vaccine that his lab helped develop went into a Phase III trial, the last stage of human clinical testing. And Trump attacked him again, retweeting a charge that the meticulously honest Fauci serially “misled the American public.”
Just another week for the scientist who has been fighting outbreaks since leading the government response on HIV/AIDS in the 1980s, and who now faces his biggest challenge in fighting both the worst pandemic of our lifetime and dealing with a president who doesn’t seem to have a coherent plan for fighting the virus. On Tuesday evening, Fauci found time to speak to WIRED about why the US has done so poorly in combating COVID-19, whether schools should open, and why no amount of abuse from Trump will make him leave his post. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.
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