Fauci emails shed light on early days of COVID-19 crisis, role in public eye-World News , Technomiz
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020, a seemingly frazzled Fauci wrote in an email: ‘This is White House in full overdrive and I am in the middle of it’
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Anthony Fauci has become a high-profile public figure.
This is a new experience for the infectious disease expert who has been a medical advisor to seven US presidents and who has been awarded a slew of honours including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Now, over 3,200 emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by Buzzfeed News, the Washington Post and CNN of Fauci’s correspondence from January to June 2020 with government officials, health experts in the US and abroad provide insight into his experience of the early, frantic days of the pandemic and the frustrations accompanying it.
Here are some of the most interesting emails sent to and from Fauci:
Perhaps the most interesting email came in January 2020, when Kristian Andersen, an immunologist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, wrote: “The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (<0.1%) so one has to look really closely at all of the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.”
Fauci’s response that he would reach out to Andersen via phone certainly made some corners of the internet freak out. However, the reality is that Andersen also wrote in the same email: “There are still further analyses to be done, so those opinions could still change.”
As per CNN, at the outset of the pandemic in February 2020, a seemingly frazzled Fauci wrote in an email: “This is White House in full overdrive and I am in the middle of it.”
“Reminiscent of post-anthrax days,” he added.
Two days later, responding to a journalist, Fauci wrote: “I am really tired. Not much sleep these days.”
As per the Washington Post, on 31 March, Fauci was sent an email with a Washington Post piece entitled ‘Fauci socks, Fauci doughnuts, Fauci fan art: The coronavirus expert attracts a cult following.’ “Truly surrealistic,” Fauci responded, as any sane person in the face of such fanfare would. “Hopefully, this all stops soon.”
In another note, he added: “It is not at all pleasant, that is for sure.”
As per Buzzfeed, In April, a White House fellow mailed to enquire if Fauci would be interested in cowriting an op-ed on COVID-19 and thus “unite the nation”. Fauci, like most of us put in an akward position, pondered the obvious question.
Sending the mail to several colleagues, Fauci asked: “How do we nicely say no to this person?”
In April 2020, Fauci forwarded an email to undisclosed recipients after he received a Google alert about news stories mentioning his name.
“Click on the ‘Cuomo Crush’ and ‘Fauci Fever’ link below. It will blow your mind. Our society is really totally nuts,” a seemingly bewildered Fauci wrote.
Still, he seemed to be enjoying his new found status in the public eye at times. For example, when Brad Pitt played him on Saturday Night Live, Fauci wrote to a colleague: “One reviewer of the SNL show said that Pitt looked ‘exactly like me.’ That statement made my year.”
On 18 April, 2020, Fauci, facing harassment and threats to his family from Trump supporters for speaking out in favour of social distancing and lockdowns, received the following email from Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention director George Gao: “I saw some news (hope it is fake) that [you] are being attacked by some people. Hope you are well under such a irrational situation.”
“Thank you for your kind note,” Fauci replied on 21 April, 2020. “All is well despite some crazy people in this world.”
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