Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that former President Donald Trump pushed him to "be more positive" about the COVID-19 pandemic, alluding to wanting Dr. Fauci to minimize it.
In a recent interview this past Sunday with The New York Times, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert said that Trump pushed for him to be more optimistic about the pandemic situation in the United States. "I would try to express the gravity of the situation, and the response of the president was always leaning toward, 'Well, it's not that bad, right?' And I would say, 'Yes, it is that bad'".
Dr. Fauci also said that this response from Trump "was almost a reflex response," and he tried to "coax you to minimize it". Dr. Fauci added, "'I want you to minimize it,' but, 'Oh, really, was it that bad?'". Additionally, Dr. Fauci said that "There were a couple of times where I would make a statement that was a pessimistic viewpoint about what direction we were going, and the president would call me up and say, 'Hey, why aren't you more positive? You've got to take a positive attitude. Why are you so negativistic? Be more positive.'"
The infectious disease expert also said that Trump would take the opinion of people "he knew from business" as seriously as experts. Dr. Fauci says that Trump was getting input from people who were suggesting things without any data on very important topics.
Here's what Dr. Fauci said, "It was clear that he was getting input from people who were calling him up, I don't know who, people he knew from business, saying, 'Hey, I heard about this drug, isn't it great?' or, 'Boy, this convalescent plasma is really phenomenal,'". He would take just as seriously their opinion-based on no data, just anecdote-that something might really be important. It wasn't just hydroxychloroquine, it was a variety of alternative-medicine-type approaches."
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