Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the White House’s top experts on COVID-19, declined to directly address President Trump’s full-blown smear campaign against him during an interview with KNX 1070 News Radio on Monday, but expressed his concerns over threats that his family has received at times when he’s been at odds with the President’s agenda.
Earlier Monday, CNN reported on a call Trump had with his campaign staffers in which the President griped about people getting “tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots” when it comes to raising alarms over large indoor gatherings such as his largely mask-free rallies that pose serious risk of spreading COVID-19.
According to CNN, Trump called Fauci a “nice guy” who’s “been here for 500 years” and ripped him for being a “disaster.”
“If I listened to him, we’d have 500,000 deaths,” Trump said on the call, according to CNN.
On Monday, Trump continued throwing more punches at Fauci via Twitter as he complained about the nation’s top infectious disease expert’s interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired the night before. The President tweeted that Fauci “seems to get more airtime than anybody since the late, great, Bob Hope.”
Later Monday, Fauci was asked during an interview on KNX 1070 about his response to Trump’s reported campaign conference call when he asserted that people are “tired of” Fauci.
Fauci declined to comment directly on Trump’s reported remark, calling “all that other stuff” a “distraction” and that he “would really prefer to stay away from that.”
Fauci emphasized he did not want to get involved in a “me against the President” discussion because it’s a distraction amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 215,000 Americans thus far.
“That’s the only thing I really care about. That other stuff, it’s like in ‘The Godfather:’ nothing personal, strictly business as far as I’m concerned,” Fauci said. “I just want to do my job and take care of the people of this country.”
When asked about how he mentioned during his interview with “60 Minutes” on Sunday that he and his family are under protection due to threats, Fauci replied that he’s worried less about himself than the harassment that his wife and children face.
“I have federal agents guarding me, but there are people out that continually harass my family,” Fauci said.
Fauci added that he finds the threats his family has received to be “such a shameful reflection of the divisiveness in our country where you have someone who’s trying to get a public health measure and public health messages across and it’s met with threats.”
“Not only on one person, but upon one’s family,” Fauci said.
Listen to Fauci’s remarks below: