As he faced death threats, Fauci said he once opened an envelope that contained a 'puff of powder' he feared was anthrax or ricin
Dr. Anthony Fauci said he opened a letter last year that was filled with a "powder puff".
While the substance was found to be benign, he said he feared it might be either anthrax or ricin.
In an extensive interview with the New York Times, Fauci described his experience under Trump.
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In an extensive interview with the New York Times, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the long-time director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said last year he had opened a letter with a "powder puff" that had not been identified at the time.
Fauci said that when he opened the letter, powder immediately covered his face and chest. His upgraded security detail, introduced after receiving threats, advised Fauci to remain silent before a Hazmat team "sprayed" him.
"It was a benevolent nothing," said Fauci of the substance in the envelope. "But it was terrifying. My wife and children were more upset than I was. I looked at it a bit fatalistically. It had to be one of three things: A joke. Or anthrax, which meant I had to go to Cipro for a month . Or if it was ricin, I was dead, so bye. "
Fauci told the New York Times over the weekend that he received death threats on March 28 last year, not long after taking a high-profile role in the fight against COVID-19, which appeared frequently at White House meetings and press conferences. But Fauci and Trump often seemed at odds in the former president's final year in office, as Trump and his allies often publicly disregarded Fauci and science-driven approaches to the pandemic.
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Fauci said Trump sometimes called him after giving an interview and asked why he hadn't given a "more positive" outlook on the pandemic, which has now killed more than 400,000 people in the US. Other advisors, like former chief of staff Mark Meadows, would call Fauci to ask why he contradicted the president, according to the report.
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a March 2020 press conference at the White House, flanked by Advisers Dr. Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci. Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images
In the interview, Fauci also said he had made it a goal during the previous administration not to "proactively" criticize Trump, but said that he would if asked by a reporter to respond to a certain allegation made by the former president to answer. At a press conference at the White House last week, Fauci said it was "liberating" to stop working with Trump.
Despite the threats to his life and the setback from the Trump administration, Fauci told the New York Times that he had never considered leaving his longstanding role despite his wife suggesting the option.
In the interview, Fauci, who is currently Biden's chief medical officer, said he wasn't sure how many more years he wanted to work, but said he was unwilling to leave Washington or his office in nearby Bethesda, Maryland leave. sometime soon.
"I think what I bring to the table is something that has great added value," he said. "I want to keep doing it until I see how we suppress this outbreak so people can get back to normal. And after that too." I left an unfinished business. "
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