Dr. Anthony Fauci, 81, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, gave a final briefing to reporters Tuesday, and in his typical manner, instead of taking a victory lap, used it to push for more Americans to get the new COVID booster.
Introducing Fauci at the podium “one more time,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the country is “stronger and healthier because of his leadership.”
“My message — and my final message, maybe the final message I give you from this podium — is that please for your own safety, for that of your family, get your updated COVID-19 shot as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself, your family and your community,” he said.
When Trump was minimizing the danger of COVID, and hiding the real numbers of death, the good Doctor bravely countered his message, undoubtedly saving lives. Though Trump tried to sideline Fauci, he still found a way to get his messages out by doing news interviews.
As he said, “Instead of throwing me out, they tried to discredit me,” Dr. Fauci said. Referring to the aides, he said, “If you are propagating lies, the person who is telling the truth based on science all of a sudden becomes the adversary.”
Trump’s attacks on him led to death threats on his life as well as his family and they were assigned protection.
When asked about his legacy, Dr. Fauci answered modestly:
“I’ll let other people judge the value or not of my accomplishments,” he continued, “but what I would like people to remember about what I’ve done is that every day for all of those years I’ve given it everything that I have and I’ve never left anything on the field.”
In a statement on Monday, Mr. Biden thanked Dr. Fauci, whom he called a “dedicated public servant and a steady hand with wisdom and insight.”