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Dr Anthony Fauci tells Late Late Show he and Trump have 'good relationship' despite well-known tensions

Dr Fauci, a top infectious disease expert in the US, said the death toll in America is “very, very sobering”.

Dr Anthony Fauci speaking to Ryan Tubridy
Dr Anthony Fauci speaking to Ryan Tubridy
Image: Screengrab/RTÉ Player

THE TOP INFECTIOUS disease expert in the US, Dr Anthony Fauci, has said he has a “good relationship” with President Donald Trump despite some tensions between the pair since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Speaking to RTÉ One’s Late Late Show, Dr Fauci admitted there have been well-publicised issues upon which himself and Trump disagree, but added that “as a personal relationship it’s not a bad relationship at all, it’s a good relationship”. 

“There has been some tension there because I’ve been having to say things from a public health and scientific standpoint that were at odds with what the President was saying,” he said. 

Tensions between the disease expert and the US President have been evident since the early days of the pandemic. 

In May, Trump said calls by Dr Fauci for a highly cautious lifting of Covid-19 restrictions were “not acceptable”. 

A day previous, Dr Fauci had testified in Congress that ending the lockdown too quickly could have “really serious” consequences.

Trump hit back and accused Fauci of wanting “to play all sides of the equation”.

Trump and Fauci had publicly disagreed prior to this, including on the effectiveness of certain drugs that have been tested to treat the virus.

He has also complained to aides and confidants about Fauci’s positive media attention and his willingness to contradict the president.

When asked by presenter Ryan Tubridy last night whether he finds Trump’s tweets about him “frustrating”, Dr Fauci said: “You know, it’s all in the game as it were, I don’t take those things personally.

“You just have to tell the truth, go by the science and being driven and led by scientific data and evidence. [If] there’s conflict with people, you just don’t take if personally.” 

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Dr Fauci went on to note that in many parts of the world, including the US, “adherence to public health measures has almost turned into a political statement”. 

“You have public health officials, like myself, who keep saying wear masks, physical distancing, avoid crowds, as if that were somehow an affront to some people, that we were either encroaching upon their individual rights or were were not sensitive to the impact that this has on the economy, neither of which is true,” he said. 

“What we need to do is to get people to realise that the enemy is the virus. The enemy is not the public health people who are trying to contain the virus,” Dr Fauci added. 

“We all want to get the economy back, but as I keep saying, the best way to get the economy back is to control the virus.”

On Wednesday, it was reported that the US has passed 200,000 deaths from Covid-19, a figure which Dr Fauci last night called “very, very sobering”.

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