Work often sucks, but it especially sucks when you don’t really vibe with your boss.
We’ve seen the photos of Dr. Anthony Fauci holding his head in despair as Donald Trump speaks during COVID-19 press conferences. But as his boss leaves office and his new boss gets sworn in, Fauci is finally spilling the tea, or at least admitting that serving in the Trump administration was “somewhat awkward."
"It's not a happy day when you have to get up in front of national TV and contradict something that the president of the United States says," Fauci said in an interview with Harvard Business Review. "I take no pleasure in that at all."
It’s clear Trump was also no fan of Dr. Fauci, who has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. He will continue holding the position after Joe Biden takes office.
"People are saying whatever. Just leave us alone," Trump said in an October call. "They're tired of it. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Trump has downplayed the severity of the virus and shared conspiracy theories about drugs like hydroxychloroquine, often making statements that Fauci would have to contradict.
"It's been particularly problematic here because that would often put me in direct conflict — not emotional conflict, but factual conflict — with what the president might say," Fauci told the Review. "So obviously that has not been an easy thing to do."
Fauci joined Trump’s coronavirus task force team in January 2020, and will continue leading the country’s response under Biden. Of course, this pandemic is still far from over. He hopes the US will be able to distribute 100 million vaccinations within Biden’s first 100 days in office.
"There are people who feel that when we say to avoid congregate settings or wear a mask that, somehow or other, we're encroaching upon something that really has nothing to do with public health — it's like their freedom," Fauci said. "When we go back and look at this in the history, we'll be scratching our heads and saying, 'How did that happen?'"