The Washington Post obtained 866 pages of Dr. Fauci’s e-mails from March and April 2020 revealing what it was like for the top doc in the early chaotic weeks of the Trump administration’s pandemic.
Fauci said he was getting about 1,000 e-mails a day from colleagues, politicians, medical workers, foreign governments and strangers.
For example, a Chinese health official named George Gao wrote to explain a journalistic embellishment that said the United States and other Western nations were making a “big mistake” by not telling people to mask up. The official was worried that it would offend his longtime friend, Dr. Fauci.
“Lets work together to get the virus out of the earth,” said the Chinese official.
“I understand completely. No problem,” Fauci wrote back. “We will get through this together.”
The released emails show that Fauci indeed tried to answer many queries, sometimes hitting “send” well after midnight. And even as Trump ratcheted up attacks on China for not containing the virus after it was first discovered there, Fauci sought to maintain ties with Gao, a well-regarded Chinese scientific leader — and Gao with him.
- The medical director for the NFL Players Association asked for a confidential briefing of how to safely start the next season.
- A Bill Gates adviser asked about Fauci’s health.
- A Michigan House Republican told Fauci to “keep being a science truth teller” despite skepticism about the virus from other GOP lawmakers and Trump himself.
- North Carolina’s Department of Public Safety chaplain and military vet expressed thanks to Fauci for embracing minority communities in the pandemic and told him to “cover his six.”
- An official in the Office of the Surgeon General in the Army and U.S. Army Medical Command told Fauci he was the voice of reason and asked questions: Can the virus be contracted from a corpse? Can someone who has taken hydroxychloroquine for years contract the virus? Are masks and gloves truly effective? And “what keeps you up at night?”
“I have said in the past that what keeps me up at night is the possibility of a pandemic respiratory infection. We are in that now, and what keeps me up at night is the response, a major part of which is the development of an effective vaccine and treatments for COVID-19.”
Of course the conspiracy theories flooded Twitter.