Dr Anthony Fauci says he puts “very little weight in the craziness of condemning me” after he became a target for right-wing critics.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert has launched a new defence of the job he has done during the pandemic after being attacked by Republican and conservatives.
“It is essential as a scientist that you evolve your opinion and your recommendations based on the data as it evolves,” he reportedly tells Kara Swisher on her “Sway” podcast for The New York Times.
“And that’s the reason why I say people who then criticise me about that are actually criticising science.”
And he added: “The people who are giving the ad hominems are saying, ‘Ah, Fauci misled us. First he said no masks, then he said masks.’ Well, let me give you a flash. That’s the way science works. You work with the data you have at the time.”
And Dr Fauci that you have to deal with changes in science not ignore them.
“It was not a change because I felt like flip-flopping. It was a change because the evidence changed, the data changed.
“It isn’t a question of being wrong. It’s a question of going with the data as you have, and being humble enough and flexible enough to change with the data.”
Dr Fauci told Swisher that he had been doing the job for 37 years and that he had learned to put “very little weight in the adulation, and very little weight in the craziness of condemning me”.
But he admitted that he was “bothered” by the impact the “preposterous” criticism he received had on his own family.
“I mean, getting death threats and getting your daughters and your wife threatened with obscene notes and threatening notes is not fun. So I can’t say that doesn’t bother me.
“The more extreme they get, the more obvious how political it is ... ‘Fauci has blood in his hands.’ Are you kidding me? ... Here’s a guy whose entire life has been devoted to saving lives, and now you’re telling me he’s like Hitler? You know, come on, folks. Get real.”