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Fauci to Chelsea Clinton: The 'phenomenal amount of hostility' I face is 'astounding'

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The Hill
The Hill
 2021-06-09
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Anthony Fauci , the nation's leading infectious diseases expert and President Biden 's chief medical adviser, said in an interview released Tuesday that he has been the object of a "phenomenal amount of hostility."

Fauci, a popular target among conservatives, made the remarks while speaking with Chelsea Clinton on her podcast "In Fact with Chelsea Clinton" after she asked what could be done to rebuild trust in science, particularly in vaccines, as the Biden administration continues its coronavirus pandemic response.

"That is not gonna to happen easily, Chelsea. I think that we may have to find ways and that's a complicated issue, as you well know, probably better than I do. It's a complicated issue of how you heal the differences and the hostility," he said.

"I mean, I've been the object myself of a phenomenal amount of hostility merely because I'm promoting what're really fundamental simple public health principles" he added. "That seems astounding that that would generate a considerable degree of hostility, but it is, it is."

The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said pointing fingers at one another is not the way to improve trust, pushing an approach that focuses on outreach.

"I don't know the answer to your question," he told Clinton. "It's a seemingly simple question, but a complicated answer. We've got to reach out to people and get them to understand that this is for their own safety, their own health and also what I refer to as communal responsibility, your responsibility to society."

He added that "there is a thing called the chain of transmission of an outbreak," and people need to take steps to be a "dead end" in the chain as opposed to someone who passes the disease along.

"I never thought I would say I wanted to be a dead end. But yes, here I am, like very happy to be fully vaccinated and a dead end," Clinton said.

Fauci has faced a barrage of attacks from members of the GOP, getting into several heated arguments with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in particular. Paul has attacked Fauci multiple times for shooting down proposed conspiracy theories about the origins of COVID-19 and the necessity of mask wearing.

During an interview in early May, Fauci said of Paul, "I just don't understand what the problem is with him."

"Well, I'm just going to do my job and he can do what he wants to do and we'll see what happens," Fauci added.

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