In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Anthony Fauci he was one of the most wanted people on the planet. In particular, the virologist ‘in chief’ of the White House was continuously inundated with requests for interviews from the Italian press. He also received an invitation to co-sign an editorial and, turning to his staff, Fauci asked, “How can we politely say no to this guy?” There is this and more in Fauci’s 866 pages of unedited emails, obtained by the Washington Post which requested them under the Freedom of Information Act.
The correspondence, which runs from March to April 2020, sheds light on the pressures to which the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was subjected in the first and hectic weeks of the Covid emergency, when Fauci was struggling to make himself heard. by then President Donald Trump, who tended to downplay the gravity of the situation.
In a March 28 exchange with George Gao, one of China’s health officials, Gao himself apologizes to Fauci after an interview with Science. The Chinese scientist explains to his American colleague and friend that he did not use the words “big mistake” in describing the attitude of the US government and other Western governments, which had not yet made the use of masks mandatory. “These are the reporter’s words,” writes Gao, worried that he had offended Fauci. Then he adds, “let’s work together to erase the virus from Earth.” Fauci’s answer is also an invitation to collaboration: “I completely understand. No problem. We will do it together.”
After Fauci received a series of threats from some Trump supporters, who accused him of being in favor of the restrictive measures that had led to the closure of schools and many productive activities, it is still Gao, who is also a member of the US National Academy of Sciences. , to write to his American colleague on 8 April. “I hope you are well in this irrational situation.” “Thanks for your email – is Fauci’s reply, three days later – everything is fine, despite some crazy”. The threats prompted the US authorities to assign an escort to Fauci.