Fauci Declines to Answer Questions on Mail-In Voting Out of Fear He’ll Make Anti-Trump ‘Soundbite’

“It’s a sport now in Washington to pit me against the president and I don’t really want to do that,” Fauci tells Washington Post

Anthony Fauci
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci declined to discuss mail-in voting during a Washington Post interview out Friday, saying he was hesitant to make a “soundbite” that could be interpreted as hostile to President Donald Trump.

Trump has railed against mail-in voting in recent weeks — and Fauci himself in recent months — so when asked by the Post to talk about whether the option was safer than in-person voting for the November election, the public face of the White House’s coronavirus response demurred.

“It’s a sport now in Washington to pit me against the president and I don’t really want to do that,” he said.

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, went on, “But someone will take a quote and bingo, it’ll be me against the president and I don’t want to do that.”

As the pandemic has worn on, Trump and members of his administration have taken aim at Fauci, causing the doctor to do significantly fewer media appearances and, on occasion, publicly defend himself.

In late July, Fauci countered Trump’s most recent round of attacks, telling ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos he has not been misleading Americans about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m just going to certainly continue doing my job. I don’t tweet. I don’t even read them so I don’t really want to go there. I just will continue to do my job no matter what comes out because I think it’s very important. We’re in the middle of a crisis with regard to a pandemic. This is what I do. This is what I’ve been trained for all my professional life and I’ll continue to do it,” said the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

As the Post points out in its Fauci chat, there is no basis for Trump’s claims that mail-in voting is fraudulent.


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