The politicization of COVID-19 is the most extreme of any health problem that Dr. Anthony Fauci has experienced in his career, the infectious disease expert revealed in his latest review of the coronavirus pandemic.
The battle against the disease has “taken on a political tone like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Fauci said in an interview Thursday arranged by National Geographic magazine.
And it’s not helping, he noted. “We certainly are not where I hoped we would be,” Fauci said.
In a separate interview with The Washington Post Thursday, when asked about Tucker Carlson’s attacks on him on Fox News, Fauci responded that Carlson “triggers some of the crazies in society to start threatening me ... which actually happens.”
The animosity and pushback he experienced while battling HIV and AIDS were “never anything” as “serious” as it is now, when he and his family have been threatened with death as he works to protect public health, Fauci explained in the National Geographic interview.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases appeared to still be stunned by the vicious reaction — and at a loss to explain it. Fauci attributed it to an extreme, disturbing divisiveness in the nation.
“It seems inconceivable,” he told interviewer Deborah Roberts of ABC News. “Take a deep breath and think about it: When you’re trying to promote public health principles to save people’s lives ... that there’s such divisiveness in the country that [it’s] interpreted to be so far from your own way of thinking that you actually want to threaten the person.”
He added: “It’s tough for me to figure that out except to say, ’Boy, I hope we get past this divisiveness in our country. ... [There’s] just no way that our society can really function well and go along that way. We’ve got to get past that.”
Fauci said it would be helpful if people would think about health and safety measures not as “blocking” a...