America’s chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci has blasted Donald Trump by claiming the former president thought COVID-19 masks diminished his manhood.
Dr Fauci, who was recently promoted to chief medical adviser to the White House, described Mr Trump as being a “pretty macho guy” in his reasoning for rarely wearing a mask.
It was “unfortunate” many Americans had decided to follow suit, he told the Atlantic, in an interview published yesterday.
In Dr Fauci’s interview with the Atlantic, he said he was ready to put his rocky relationship with Mr Trump behind him.
Speaking about his time working with the Trump administration, Dr Fauci commented on how difficult it was to convey the importance of masks to the former president.
“It’s really tough to get into his head, but I think what was going on with him is he was not interested in the outbreak,” he said.
“The outbreak to him was an inconvenient truth that he didn’t accept as a truth. It’s something that got in the way of what he really wanted to do.”
Mr Trump was a “pretty macho guy” when it came to him not wanting to be seen wearing a mask, Fauci said.
He also talked about he got through working with Mr Trump during the pandemic.
“The thing that got me through it was, I did not let that bother me,” Dr Fauci said.
“People cannot believe that. But it’s true. The problem is so enormous. People’s lives are at stake. I’m a physician. I’m a scientist. I’m a public-health expert. I know what I need to do. All that other stuff is just a distraction. Quite frankly, it’s bulls**t.”
He also spoke about standing up to Mr Trump’s claims about the virus.
“I don’t take any great pleasure in contradicting the president of the United States,” he said.
“I have a great deal of respect for the office. But I had to do it as a symbol to the rest of the world that science is not going to flinch in the face of somebody who’s spouting nonsense. That’s why I had to step up to the podium a couple of times.”
Dr Fauci also said he grew to like the President on a personal level, despite joking his wife would have a “heart attack” after saying that.
“He is a very charismatic character. And there was something about our commonality of being New Yorkers that we developed this strange relationship, where we really liked each other,” he said.
“But there was something about him that was charismatic and likeable on a personal basis—not on a policy basis.
“What I did know is the people around him were furious with the fact that I was contradicting him publicly, and contradicting him from the podium in the White House, and even sometimes in the Oval Office.
“What was really the topper was when the White House sent out that list to everybody of the things that Dr Fauci was wrong on, which was complete crap, because I wasn’t wrong on any of them.”
When asked if Mr Trump’s handling of the pandemic led to Americans dying, he refused to be drawn on the subject.
“I don’t want to say that. The reason I don’t is that someone will take it out of context and say, ‘Fauci said that the president killed people’. I don’t want to go there.”
In a recent interview with Fox News, host Dana Perino referenced Dr Fauci’s recent interview with a New York Times podcasts, a large majority of which focused on his troubled relationship with Mr Trump, as opposed to the pandemic.
According to Daily Mail reports, Perino noted how “willing” Dr Fauci was to answer questions about Donald Trump.
“I know those questions are irresistible for reporters to ask, but is there a law of diminishing returns to continue to answer questions about that relationship if the crisis is as acute as you say?’ she asked.
The doctor agreed with Perino’s insinuation that attention was possibly being misplaced.
“After that interview, I said to myself we really got to look forward and ahead and just put that behind us. I totally agree with you,” he said.
“Looking forward I’m really not enthusiastic at all about re-examining what happened back then rather than looking forward to what we need to do now.”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission