IF anyone in the administration of President Donald Trump seems immune from the sack, it is Dr Anthony Fauci, the USA’s director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Except that already the jungle drums are murmuring that Trump’s infamously thin skin may be at piercing point.

Why? Well the “good man”, as Trump calls him, is turning into a television and media star and there’s only room for one of them in the White House.

Appearing alongside Trump or on his own, Fauci comes across as the voice of reason, a scientist with facts and figures at his fingertips. The Donald is just Trump as usual, though Fauci always defers to him and, while correcting him, he knows Trump has a massively loyal following who need to be convinced about what the US Government is doing to preserve lives.

Never underestimate the fragility of the Trump ego, however, though even he might baulk at dismissing such a respected figure who has served under six presidents.

The Donald might not get the chance. There are court cases under way to see just how much power to sack officials the president possesses. And some politicians have said Fauci should be protected and be able to say what he thinks.

Other right-wing pundits say he has to go, alleging he is part of a plot to undermine the president because he sometimes sports a mean dirty look when standing alongside Trump at press conferences.

Fauci denied he pulled a face in one conference behind Trump. He said he was choking on a cough drop Mmmm ...


ANTHONY Fauci is of Italian and Swiss-Italian descent. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1940, and graduated from Regis High School in the city in 1958. He studied classics and then medicine, graduating top of his class at Cornell University.

He then went on to a glittering career in the National Institutes of Health, starting with ground-breaking work on the human immune system and moving up through the ranks to become Director of NIAID in 1984. Since then he has overseen an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases such as HIV/Aids, respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases, tuberculosis and malaria as well as emerging diseases such as Sars, Ebola, Zika, and now Covid-19.

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He has conducted life-saving research and is the author of world-leading reports on immunology in particular. His many awards include honorary doctorates and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In short he is one of the most respected medical experts in the world.

He is married with three adult children. His wife Christine, a nurse with a PhD, is chief of the depart-ment of bioethics at the National Institutes of Health clinical centre.

Though he has often been front and centre when the US Government responds to a medical crisis, Fauci has risen to prominence during the coronavirus outbreak because immunology and infectious diseases are his specialisations and he was made a member of the president’s task force – under Vice-President Mike Pence – to tackle the outbreak on day one.

Fauci’s also in charge of a department with a budget of

nearly £6 billion, and as such is probably the best bet for getting the vaccine done, as Boris Johnson might say.


THAT’S the problem. He often says things which contradict Trump. He also says them with more conviction than the president because he knows what he is talking about.

For instance when Trump hinted at a “magic drug” coming along, Fauci flat out denied it.

He said: “Today, there are no proven safe and effective therapies for the coronavirus.That doesn’t mean that we’re not going to do everything we can to make things that have even a hint of efficacy more readily available.”

In an interview this week, Fauci was asked: “How are you managing to not get fired?”

He replied: “Well, that’s pretty interesting because to President Trump’s credit, even though we disagree on some things, he listens. He goes his own way. He has his own style. But on substantive issues, he does listen to what I say.”

He does, however, refuse to call Covid-19 the “Chinese virus” as Trump insists on doing.

Asked about Trump’s bizarre statement on the “deep State Department” conspiracy theory about the outbreak, Fauci answered simply “no comment”.

He is sanguine about what is going to happen to the US: “I mean, looking at what we’re seeing now, I would say between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths.

“But I don’t want to be held to that. I just don’t think that we really need to make a projection, when it’s such a moving target.”

With thousands already dead, and 140,000 infections, Fauci added: “We’ve got a serious problem in New York, we have a serious problem in New Orleans, and we’re going to be developing serious problems in other


“So, although people like to model it, let’s just look at the data of what we have, and not worry about these worst-case and best-case scenarios.”

It’s that matter-of-fact approach that has won Fauci so many fans.


IF he doesn’t get the sack, expect Fauci to continue to lead what Trump incessantly refers to as “the war” on coronavirus.

V-P that he is, Pence yesterday said: “I don’t believe the president has ever belittled the threat of the coronavirus.”

Oh yes he absolutely did, but he is not doing so now and that is largely thanks to Dr Fauci, who has heard it all from the president and has stuck to his guns. Some man.

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