Fauci’s advice for America
Today on “Post Reports,” a conversation with Anthony S. Fauci: We cover why you should get a booster, how you can gather safely with family over the holidays, and how Fauci feels about having his job — and science — politicized.
Anthony S. Fauci has become a familiar voice for many Americans during the pandemic. As a high-profile member of the White House coronavirus task force and the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he led the country through the worst of the coronavirus pandemic and continues to guide the U.S. response. Ahead of the holidays, we spoke to Fauci about how to gather with friends and family safely. “If people are vaccinated, then they should feel good and safe about enjoying, in their own homes, a typical Thanksgiving meal,” Fauci said.
However, Fauci does recommend a level of caution, especially if you’re going out or gathering with family and friends who might be unvaccinated.
We also spoke to Fauci about the toll that it’s taken on him to be a public figure at a time when science and public health are increasingly politicized.
“What kind of society [is it] in which you have a public servant, who’s not a political person, who the only thing he’s saying is he wants people to get vaccinated [...] and for that his life gets threatened, his wife and his children get harassed and threatened?” Fauci said. “To me, it's an assault on me. But it is also an assault on science in general.”
He cautioned that this assault on science is “very threatening to the foundation of our society.”
Reporter Yasmeen Abutaleb has been covering a recent wave of death threats sent to Fauci.
“Throughout the pandemic,” Abutaleb said, “we've seen public health officials resign at alarming rates because of the burnout and the hostility that's been directed toward them.”
Fauci and his office have been swamped by so many angry messages and threats that in late October, his assistant quit answering the phone for two weeks. Just as he and the Biden administration were preparing for the campaign to vaccinate young children, our colleagues reported, he got 3,600 calls in 36 hours.
“A lot of people just don't want to follow the public health guidelines that we've had to during this pandemic,” Abutaleb said.“They've been difficult. And I think they take out that anger and resentment out on the health officials who are telling them what they should do.”
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