Health Care

Fauci reacts to Bannon: ‘That’s not the kind of thing you think about’ at medical school

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Dr. Anthony Fauci

DAnthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases specialist, said former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon calling for his beheading is “not the kind of thing you think about when you’re going through medical school.” 

Bannon caused outrage last week when he said that he wanted to put Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray’s “heads on pikes.” 

Fauci was asked on the Australian TV news program “The 7:30 Report” what it was like “managing a pandemic and dealing with Donald Trump at the same time.” 

“Well, it’s obviously been very stressful,” Fauci responded in an interview published Wednesday. “To deny that would be to deny reality, when you have public figures like Bannon calling for your beheading, that’s really kind of unusual, I think. That’s not the kind of thing you think about when you’re going through medical school to be a physician. But I’ve gotten through it by really focusing like a laser beam on exactly what my goal is.”

President Trump himself has also suggested he might fire Fauci, who said he is trying to focus on developing vaccines and treatments and encouraging Americans to take public health precautions like wearing masks and maintaining distance from others. 

“If you focus on that and don’t get distracted by all the other noise, then it’s not as bad as you might think it is. It’s when you start to focus on that other junk as I call it, it’s noise. It’s meaningless. People calling for you to be beheaded, fired, thrown in the fire pit or whatever, that’s just noise,” he said.  

He also said lockdowns should be a “last resort” and instead is focused on getting more Americans to take precautions like wearing a mask.  

Fauci indicated he has not been in touch with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, as Trump has not conceded the race and his administration has not taken steps to begin the transition process, including on the coronavirus response. 

“Right now, the situation, as you well know, is a rather tense situation in the United States regarding transitions, so right now things are on hold for the time being,” Fauci said. 

Asked about the performance of the World Health Organization, which has come under fierce criticism from Trump, Fauci said in the future it should “respond in a timely manner without any indication of worrying about political ramifications.”

“We need countries like China to allow other scientists and health officials to look around and see what’s going on,” he added. “That would be helpful. They did not allow that in the beginning. They essentially did not allow travel to Wuhan. That’s not a good thing.”  

Tags Anthony Fauci Christopher Wray Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Joe Biden Steve Bannon White House coronavirus task force

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