Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Dr. Anthony Fauci, in a new memoir, recalls his final talk with President Trump, which included an enraged Trump calling Joe Biden "that f- -ker" and vowing to "kick his f-- -king ass" and bragging that he was going to "win this f --king election" in a 2020 landslide


Dr. Anthony Fauci, who led America's fight against the coronavirus, cannot quite get over the final conversation he had with President Donald Trump. The talk was so bizarre to Fauci's ears that he still describes it as "unnerving." From Trump's end, it was filled with vitriol, rage, deceit, profane language, and attacks against those he thought had wronged him. In other words, it was Trump being Trump.

But that did not make it any more pleasant for Fauci, noted as a worldwide expert in immunology, infectious diseases, and public health, who served as a director at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1984 to 2022 and advised seven presidents on domestic and global health issues. Understandably, Fauci was used to being treated with respect, having earned a significant amount of international prestige.

But that was not coming from Trump, and Fauci still seems perplexed to have been subjected to such an unpleasant encounter with a president. Hafiz Rashid, of The New Republic (TNR), examines the Trump-Fauci relationship and seems to see it as another example of the dysfunction that reigned at the White House during Trump's first term. Under the headline "Fauci Recalls Trump’s Final Enraged Call: 'That F**ker Biden';Dr. Anthony Fauci revealed his last “unnerving” conversation with Donald Trump," Rashid writes:

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s  final conversation with Donald Trump was “unnerving,” according to the infectious diseases expert.

With his new book, On Call: A Doctor’s Journey in Public Service, released this week , Fauci spoke in more depth about the conversation on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Live Monday night, detailing how Trump, in a phone conversation, called Joe Biden “that fucker” and promised to “kick his fucking ass” in the final days before the 2020 election. 

Maddow read an excerpt from the book, quoting Fauci’s narration of that call: 

“Everybody wants me to fire you,” the president said to me during [a] call [that day], “but I’m not going to fire you. You have too illustrious a career, but you have to be positive. The country cannot stay locked down. You have got to give them hope.

“I like you but so many people, not only in the White House but throughout the country hate you because of what you are doing. I’m going to win this fucking election by a landslide, just wait and see. I always did things my way, and I always win no matter what all these other fucking people think. And that fucker Biden, he’s so fucking stupid. I’m going to kick his fucking ass in this election.

Maddow seemed to sense, Rashid writes, that Fauci found Trump's words revolting, insulting, and wildly unfitting for a president:

Maddow asked Fauci if the conversation “unnerved you a little bit.”

“You know, it did,” Fauci replied. “It was a little incongruous because he ended it by saying take care, see you soon, something like that. I wasn’t quite sure.

“It was unnerving. Even though you’re convinced you’re doing the right thing, which I had been, you know, trying to say all along, just level with the American public, you wind up being better off to do that; it is not a pleasant thing to have the president of the United States, when you have such a great deal of respect for the presidency of the United States, for the president to get on the phone and scream at you the way he did. So that was very tough,” Fauci added.

Fauci’s new book includes many new details about how Trump dealt with Covid-19 and how he felt about Fauci. Trump would “announce that he loved me and then scream at me on the phone,” Fauci wrote. Their contentious relationship was apparent even in the early days of the pandemic, with Trump reportedly flying into a rage after hearing incorrectly reported information and attributing it to Fauci.

Fauci’s time as the public face of the government’s efforts during the pandemic, as well as Trump’s treatment of him, earned him attacks from conservatives, who spread conspiracy theories about him and attacked efforts such as lockdowns and masks. He was the target of several smears on a recent visit to Capitol Hill, with Republicans proposing getting hold of his personal emails. More new revelations from his book, along with more public appearances, will likely draw him more vitriol and attacks, despite his career in public service.

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