Dr. Anthony Fauci, soon to be ex-Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said this week that it is “completely crazy” for people to believe that he is political.
President Joe Biden’s top medical adviser answered a question about the biggest misconception of his performance in this influential and high-profile position.
He responded that there was a mistaken impression that he was “misleading people.” Fauci recounted that he had been an adviser to seven presidents and believed he never shifted one way or the other from an ideological standpoint.
When asked about his earlier guidance that there was “absolutely no reason” for the public to wear masks, Fauci gave a clarification.
He said that if he had it to do all over again, he would have analyzed the situation “a little bit better.”
— The Hill (@thehill) October 17, 2022
Pressed on school closures and whether the widespread locking of classroom doors was a mistake, Fauci pushed back against that description. He responded that he did not want to use the word “mistake,” for the reason that it would be taken out of context.
Fauci announced in August that he is stepping down in December from his multiple positions in public health. His tenure for over two years has been marked with controversy over everything from COVID-19-related lockdowns to school closures.
Fauci bemoaned that “no one plays” the clip of him saying that everything must be done to keep schools open. Instead, he declared, they always come back around to blaming him for closing the schools.
He reiterated his belief that protecting children was the most important task for officials. But instead of closures, he insisted the primary steps should have been getting people who interact with children vaccinated and masked, ventilating schools and keeping kids in the school buildings safely.
Further, he blamed the pandemic rolling out in an election year for a “triple whammy” that divided the nation and made the issue political “very, very quickly.
Despite the repeated claims of being apolitical, Fauci said before his retirement that he would leave the post if former President Donald Trump were reelected in 2024. He added, apolitically of course, that the administration’s response “wasn’t optimal.”