♪♪ -Tonight, the CDC is confirming a man in Washington state has the first case in the U.S.... -A mystery virus in China.
-...of a new and deadly coronavirus.
-It's very likely an animal to human jump.
-The World Health Organization today declared the coronavirus a global pandemic.
-There was a time when we thought we were going to get hit by an al-Qaeda bioterror attack.
There was Zika, Ebola.
This is completely unprecedented.
-Coronavirus has changed life -Residents now being ordered -in America.
-to stay indoors.
-I feel helpless.
-We have very little problem in this country at this moment.
-The risk of serious illness to the average American for the coronavirus is low.
-66,000 people that have succumbed to this virus in just six weeks.
-I'm probably not going to fully realize what the hell went on until after it's over.
-Is the worst yet to come, Dr. Fauci?
-Yes, it is.
-People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots.
-[ Chanting, clapping ] Fire Fauci!
-It's "You made the virus.
Fauci created the virus."
-The man now believes he's a deity accountable to no one.
-He's been lying to the American people.
-He represents Joseph Mengele.
-It's time for Tony Fauci to be held accountable.
-I worry less about the future, related to COVID-19, than I do to the fate of our country.
♪♪ ♪♪ You cannot believe what's going on.
I don't even have time to explain it to you, but it's just ...killing me.
There are so many gaps that should not have been gaps, if people were doing things correctly.
Not us, but you know what I mean.
-Please leave a message after the tone.
[ Beep ] -I've just got five documents that I have to read for my 3:30 briefing with the White House.
It would take me a month to read them.
There's no doubt that these variants are going to keep arising, one after the other, after the other, after the other.
[ Laughs ] You know, on a lighter note, the only thing I could think of, when the variants came up, was Roseanne Roseannadanna, you know, "If it ain't one thing, it's another."
[ Laughs ] The other thing to show how responsive he and his group are, they wanted to have 29,000 people on the lower lawn, you know?
And they called us together and we argued, "Please, literally, have a few hundred, not tens of thousands."
And he put his ego aside and said, Okay," and they went for a few hundred.
Could you imagine convincing the other guy about that?
[ Upbeat march plays ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -Ladies and gentlemen, the president-elect of the United States, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., and Dr. Jill Biden.
[ Cheering, whistling, and applause ] ♪♪ -I got my second vaccine yesterday and I feel like...today.
[ Blows nose ] -We're entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus.
We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation.
[ Applause ] As the Bible says... -It's eerie that, around this day, a year ago, was the first recognized case of COVID-19 in the United States.
[ Applause and whistling ] Today is a combination of so many different things.
It's kind of a diffusion of an incredible amount of pent-up tension and holding back of despair.
-When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry, a sea we must wade.
We've braved the belly of the beast.
-♪ Amazing grace, how sweet... ♪ -The stress of the fact that you're responsible for something that's killing a lot of people, 400,000 individual people.
-♪ A wretch ♪ -People were seeing their loved ones dying without even being able to be near them.
-♪ I once was lost ♪ ♪ But now I'm found ♪ ♪ Was blind but now I see ♪ -Yeah.
[ Cheering and applause ] -Whoo!
[ Phone ringing ] Jared.
[ Indistinct talking on TV ] -And, really, it's been an honor working with you and thank you for all your help through this challenging period.
I know you still have the burden on your shoulders.
-[ Laughing ] Right.
-But I know you'll carry it.
Thanks a lot.
Send my best to Ivanka.
That was Jared Kushner.
[ Phone ringing ] [ Ringing continues ] ♪♪ This is my seventh administration.
I've never been anywhere near a transition like this.
[ Grunts ] Not even close.
We've been through hell.
It would've been very, very difficult, under the best of circumstances, to be going through a historic pandemic.
You superimpose upon that the complete craziness that's gone on.
[ Siren wailing ] What's this?
[ Siren wailing ] -You guys all together?
Boy, oh, boy.
They're not fooling around, are they?
I think about that crazy mob storming the Capitol a couple of weeks ago, trying to hang the vice president of the United States.
♪♪ Like what the hell is going on here?
[ Rotors whirring ] [ Radio chatter ] -We are pleased to have Dr. Fauci here with us as part of the president's commitment to have public health experts lead our communication with the American people about the pandemic.
With that, I will turn it over to Dr. Fauci.
[ Camera shutters clicking ] -Thank you very much and I'm going to just spend a couple of minutes just summarizing the status of where we are.
I'm sort of getting a déjà vu standing up here, because I said something like this almost a little bit less than a year ago.
♪♪ We were talking about the acceleration of cases in the late winter, early spring of 2020.
♪♪ We are still in a very serious situation.
I mean, to have over 400,000 deaths is something that, you know, is, unfortunately, historic in a very -- in a very bad sense.
♪♪ -In your view, what would've been different in terms of the trajectory of this outbreak from the start had a team like this been in place at the beginning?
-One of the things that was very clear as recently as about 15 minutes ago when I was with the President is that one of the things that we're going to do is to be completely transparent, open, and honest.
♪♪ If things go wrong, not point fingers, but to correct them... ♪♪ ...and to make everything we do be based on science and evidence.
♪♪ I mean, I always said everything on the base -- that's why I got in trouble sometimes, right?
[ Laughter ] ♪♪ -You basically vanished for a few months there for a while.
You feel like you're back now?
-I think so.
[ Laughter ] Okay.
It's totally different.
The President says, "All I want is science and the truth."
They were very pleased at the press conference.
As soon as you wrapped up, I got an immediate note saying, "He knocked it out of the park."
♪♪ [ Whistling ] ♪♪ ♪♪ Everybody wants to know when we can get back to some form of normality, and I think everybody needs to realize it's not gonna be like a light switch.
The President gets it.
This is not easy.
He also made it very clear that the world is not going to be able to handle a global pandemic, nor are we, if we dissociate ourselves from the rest of the world.
-Can I ask one question?
-In anticipation of this World Health Assembly thing you're doing on Thursday morning, when is this being announced?
What exactly are you doing?
What do we tell reporters who start asking, "Hey, I hear Dr. Fauci is doing something for the World Health Assembly"?
-It's going to be a big deal.
I'm going to officially announce that we're going back into the WHO.
Everything that we wanted done that the Trump administration didn't want to do has been completely overridden by this.
So it's going to be huge.
Dr. Grady called.
I got it.
[ Keypad dialing ] [ Line ringing ] Did you take a look at my speech?
Well, you know why this is going to be good?
Because I'm speaking on behalf of the President of the United States.
[ Chuckles ] You'll love it.
[ Chuckles ] Chris isn't back yet?
I got to have something to eat, and I just... don't want to eat crap.
This is -- This is living on the fly, man.
Add a little garlic for -- to keep the evil spirits away.
[ Beeping ] [ Doorbell rings ] David.
-So you're not going to use your background tomorrow morning.
We're going to use a filter.
I don't want anything fancy.
I don't really give a -- -It's just the NIAID -- The logo.
I don't like things in the back.
-It's whatever you have at the office, like, at the conference room -- that's what I have.
-Yeah, but are you gonna -- -I'll show it to you.
You do your thing, and I'll show you.
You say yes or no.
Now I can't find where the hell my...
Nothing's just -- Everything's gettin'...up today.
-David, what's the decision about tomorrow morning at 4:00?
Are you -- Is he going to be in the office or is he gonna be at home?
So, what I have right now, what you're seeing, is a filter.
Why don't we take a deep breath?
What I would like is that, okay?
That's easier for me.
-Easier for me.
-No, no, seriously, David.
I mean, I know you're trying to make it look like a -- I don't give a... Because you see this -- the way you're moving around now?
Looks like somebody's carving around your head.
Don't you agree, Greg?
Because I don't have a green screen.
That makes a hundred -- Done.
That's all it took.
-There's nothing wrong with my books.
This is actually easier for me.
-So, while I have you guys here, the thing that I'm getting a real anxiety reaction is, this is one of the most huge things that's been announced by the federal government.
Technically, we can't...it up, because it will be the world's biggest embarrassment and will completely piss off Biden if all of a sudden we're not connected.
♪♪ -Hi, there.
-I can't kiss you with your mask on.
This is a very uncomfortable chair here.
But we're not going to do anything about it now.
Make sure we get the volume right because of my hearing.
-It's on the highest possible.
Is Chris there?
-They may not show it live, so if you want to hear me do it, you should be in here.
-Oh, I was just going to stand right outside.
-Sit on that chair.
They can't see you.
[ Laughter ] -Disconnected everything.
♪♪ So, I guess when they start talking, I have to raise my hand.
-No, you see this little hand right here?
This is the hand that we're talking about.
So you don't need to do anything.
-I don't need to do that?
-No, no, no, no, no, no.
So, this is the hand.
As soon as I click on this button, your hand is going to appear right here.
-Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening.
Before we begin... -Raise my hand?
-...I understand from the secretary that the delegation has raised their hand and requested to take the floor.
-Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Director General Dr. Tedros, distinguished representatives, friends, and colleagues.
It is an honor for me to be here, representing the United States of America.
On behalf of the newly inaugurated Biden/Harris administration, I am honored to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organization.
Thank you so much, my brother, Tony.
And welcome to the WHO Executive Board as head of delegation for the United States of America.
This is a good day for WHO and a good day for global health.
-This is historic.
-Rejoining the WHO, that was an extraordinary moment.
You could feel the relief of the representatives from the other countries.
The texts were coming in.
It's a feeling of freedom.
Sort of an unshackling of, not just on me personally, but on the entire system, that you could let science speak.
♪♪ During the Trump administration, I had to come out when things that were not factually true, that were not scientifically true were said.
I had to get up.
I felt it was my responsibility to, one, preserve my integrity, and, two, my responsibility to the American public as a scientist to say, "No, I'm sorry, but that's not the case.
This drug does not work.
This intervention is bogus.
The virus is not going to disappear in a week.
It's not going to go away when the weather gets warm."
I mean, I had to -- And that completely pissed off a certain segment of our population, thinking that I was the anti-Trump person.
I was not anti-Trump.
I was anti-misinformation.
♪♪ You have the President getting up saying, "You're an idiot," or, "He's wrong," many times.
"He's a Democrat.
He's against us."
You want to say, "Are you...kidding me?
[ Laughs ] The stress on a daily basis that you're gonna say something -- and you know it's true -- and then you could expect 10:30, 11:00 at night, you're gonna get a phone call, caller unknown.
You know what that is.
The President wants to talk to you, getting very upset that you said something that was absolutely true.
People would text me or phone me, "Oh, my God.
Are you okay?
Are you okay?"
And my feeling was, yeah, I'm fine.
This is a bunch of... President Trump and I were both born and raised in New York City.
You know, he has that New York swagger about him that I can relate to.
I feel comfortable with that kind of bravado that he has.
Went a long way to having us develop a reasonable relationship despite the conflict between us.
He even says now -- now, after he's out of office and still criticizing the heck out of me, he always says, "You know, but I kind of like him.
But I never listened to anything he said."
♪♪ Even though what I'm saying and what I have said is exactly what the CDC is saying, what most of the public-health officials are saying, what the Surgeon General has said -- but they aim it at me as the target of, "Oh, you were wrong on all these things."
Well, no, we weren't wrong.
♪♪ The risk is low for the American people, but that could change.
-So, Dr. Fauci, it's Saturday morning in America.
People are waking up right now with real concerns about this.
They want to go to malls and movies, maybe the gym, as well.
Should we be changing our habits?
And if so, how?
-No, right now at this moment, there is no need to change anything that you're doing on a day-by-day basis.
Right now the risk is still low, but this could change.
I've said that many times, even on this program.
-There's a lot of confusion among people and misinformation surrounding face masks.
Can you discuss that?
-Right now in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks.
-You're sure of it?
Because people are listening really closely to this.
Right now people should not be walking -- There's no reason to be walking around with a mask.
When you're in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet, but it's not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is.
Tell us about the thinking on that.
Because just a few days ago, we were told that the thinking was it was not necessary.
-Putting a mask on yourself is more to prevent you from infecting someone else.
And if everybody does that, we're each protecting each other.
So, this idea about going back and saying, "Well, you said you shouldn't wear a mask."
What we did, is that at the moment you ask a question, you've got to look at what scientific data were available at that time.
And there were things that we knew, which weren't a lot, and things that we didn't know.
We didn't know what it meant to have one or two people infected in a society that already doesn't like to wear masks.
How would you like to say, "We have two cases now.
Everybody wear a mask.
And guess what.
We have a shortage of masks, and we didn't even know masks work"?
No chance in the world that anyone would want to do that.
"Did you flip-flop?"
No, you got additional information that made you change what you're saying.
And I'd be happy to debate that anywhere, any place, with anybody.
Thank you very much, Michael.
Good to be with you.
-Dr. Fauci, thanks so much for being with us this morning.
Most people see me and maybe think that the only thing I do is communicate.
See you later.
But -- [ Chuckles ] No, that's not the case.
You get up 5:00 in the morning, you get in, you know, 6:30 or 6:45.
You start off with the first meeting is at 7:30 and you get maybe a couple of thousand -- truly no hyperbole -- couple of thousand e-mails a day.
It's just so much freaking work!
I mean, it's just -- it's a big cluster.
Let's get everything back the way it was, okay?
I'm going to be doing twice the amount of work now because the Biden administration is calling me to do everything.
I mean, they don't approve anything unless I say yes.
[ Telephone rings ] My day job is to run a big organization.
The NIAID is the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
It's one of the 27 institutes of the NIH, the National Institutes of Health.
I have been doing that for 37 years.
I'm a scientist and a physician, not only because it's an important part of my identity, but because you get a better feel for the bigger picture of a disease.
I have trained and picked everybody who works for me right now.
They know my goal.
They know my vision, which is deeply steeped in science, clinical medicine, public health.
It isn't only COVID-19.
It's malaria, tuberculosis, influenza, AIDS.
This is the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
We do the research to understand a disease and, importantly, to develop diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.
With COVID-19, the basic research that led to almost every single vaccine that's been successful was done by investigators in my institute, in the Vaccine Research Center.
My team, they did all of the exquisite research to make the optimal immunogen to induce the best possible response to protect you.
That didn't happen overnight.
What happened that people don't see -- what happened under the radar screen is that for decades before the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, basic and clinical research was progressively going along to create what's called the vaccine platform so that when COVID-19 came along, they just saw the sequence of the virus that was put on the public database by the Chinese on January 10th.
They were able, within days, to use that same concept -- bing -- to apply it immediately to COVID-19.
Usually that takes years.
It took days.
Then the federal government, through Operation Warp Speed, made a investment of billions of dollars to start manufacturing millions of doses without knowing it worked.
That is a big gamble.
If it doesn't work, you lose billions of dollars.
If it does work, you've saved a year.
Did anybody know that my team with Barney Graham, Jason McClellan, Kizzmekia Corbett, and others -- that they were doing that 15, 20 years ago?
Nobody had any idea.
Now all of a sudden you get this, really, medical scientific miracle.
You get it in the muscle there, buddy?
-All went in?
The whole dose?
-To be in a position of leadership to help orchestrate that, I mean, that, to me, is one of the great payoffs and gratifications of years and years of work when very few people know what you're doing.
Rock 'n' roll.
Listen, I got only a couple of minutes 'cause I'm going to the White House.
So what do we need?
In addition to running a $6-billion institute, I have this other job.
The President has entrusted me with being his Chief Medical Advisor.
We meet with the President personally at least once a week and sometimes a few times a week.
We brief the press with White House press briefings two to three times a week.
So they rely on me as kind of, like, the "senior" person on the team, which I am.
You know, I'm so...old.
[ Laughs ] So why don't you just give them a really nice, "We're really sorry, but we're overwhelmed now"?
What have we got next?
-The next thing is Italian Heritage Parade.
They want you in 2022.
-[ Chuckles ] -You knew that was going to happen.
-Can I throw flowers out from the... [ Laughs ] Alright.
Make a statement from the stage at the start of the performance.
-This would be the most fun thing in the world if we were not in the middle of an outbreak.
-Yeah, I mean, I think it's an honor, but there's a little bit of a hambone aspect to it.
It's a little showbiz.
I would say decline just on that grounds.
-Particularly the statement that they suggest that you make would be really ridiculous.
-Well, that's the beginning of the show.
I mean, if you've seen -- Have you seen the show "Chicago"?
-No, I... -It starts off by somebody getting up and saying, "Welcome, ladies and gentlemen.
You're about to see a story of murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery, and treachery -- all the things we hold near and dear to our heart."
And then the show starts.
It's kind of a funny way to start the show.
They want me to be the person to do that.
-I just think it's shtick.
-What happens if we have almost no infections in September?
It's still shtick.
-I got to grab my...mask.
-Hey, Dr. Fauci.
Can you hear me?
How you doing?
Thank you so much for everything you're doing.
Jake is going to talk to you, but you're always welcome to join me, as well, whenever you want.
-Tony, it's Jake.
Can you hear me?
-I can hear well, Jake.
How you doing?
-Wolf told me -- When you weren't on, he said he never wants to talk to you again.
He never wants to interview you again.
I don't know.
He's saying something else to you now.
He said you should only do interviews with me.
And, to be honest, there were some anti-Italian epitaphs.
-[ Laughs ] -♪ He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom ♪ ♪ The highest honor, led the charge against Ebola and Zika ♪ ♪ He makes McDreamy look sleazy ♪ ♪ Dr. House, he can't keep up ♪ ♪ He has the hottest body of work ♪ ♪ What's your name, man?
♪ ♪ Doctor Anthony Fauci ♪ ♪ My name is Doctor Anthony Fauci ♪ -[ Chuckles ] -♪ And there's a million things I haven't cured ♪ ♪ But just you wait, just you wait ♪ ♪ Doctor Anthony Fauci ♪ -How about that for an introduction?
-[ Laughs ] -Spike Lee, Dr. Fauci, take one.
-No, say it again.
Dr. Fauci first.
Do it again.
-Dr. Fauci and Spike, take one.
-My first question is, what hospital were you born in?
-[ Chuckles ] Brooklyn Hospital, Spike.
-Peter Navarro saying I created the virus?
I mean, how bizarre is that?
I mean, think about that.
I mean, is that a little weird?
I mean, come on.
It is always a stressful job because you get out there in front of millions of people on TV and you say something.
There are 25,000 people who are looking for you to make one little slip, and then, "Ah!
It isn't just me, Neil.
-But wearing masks into 2022, Doctor?
Do you still stand by that?
-Neil, that was taken -- Come on.
Let's get serious about this.
That was taken totally out of context.
You almost got to be like a computer check.
As you're speaking, you're doing spellchecks in your mind.
I said, under certain circumstances, that might be conceivable that we would have to, but there are circumstances in which we may not have to.
[ Laughs ] I'm laughing.
People say, you know, "Fauci is going to inject a chip in you when you get vaccinated."
Well, I have a chip in my own brain.
-I'll see you shortly.
-What are we doing?
-My life is pretty uni-dimensional.
There really isn't much that I do.
It's 24/7 the same thing over and over again.
I'm gonna go to the men's room, okay?
I haven't had a single day off in, literally, over 14 months, but I think when this is all over, I'd just like to get together with my wife and my daughters, who I haven't physically seen in the same room, two or three of them, in over a year.
-Working on a couple talk sh-- late-night things.
Jimmy Kimmel, we have scheduled for May 4th.
And I've been talking with Jimmy Fallon about when best to do his show.
They may want to do something with you leading into the Memorial Day Weekend.
Otherwise, they might want to do something with you in August, before schools go back.
-Double espresso or flat espresso today?
Because I already had one.
-How many interviews have you done over the past year?
-Do you enjoy being America's most trusted doctor right now?
-Well, I certainly want to be trusted.
I don't necessarily dwell on the attention that I've gotten.
-So being one of the Sexiest Men Alive in People magazine wasn't pleasurable at all?
You're under oath, sir.
I will remind you that you're under oath.
-Well, Stephen, briefly, it was sort of an interesting concept.
When you realize how far it is from the truth, being somewhat of a realistic person, I then get back to my job.
-I've wanted to have you on for a year.
We've tried to have you on almost every week for a year.
We couldn't ever get you.
Around January 20th, your schedule really opened up.
What -- What changed?
-[ Laughs ] Everything.
[ Laughter ] -Good!
I hope it keeps changing.
Now, I have been a fan of yours since before it was cool.
Because I interviewed you almost exactly 10 years ago, and I want to take a look at this clip.
-What's gonna be the next big hot news disease?
'Cause we had SARS, we had swine flu, we've had bird flu.
And I want to get my graphics department working on the next thing that's going to scare the poop out of these people.
What's it gonna be?
-The interesting thing is, we don't know.
There is always a threat of emerging and reemerging infections, and one of the real issues that we face is that nature is one of the worst terrorists in that respect.
It just comes out of nowhere.
A lot of times, jumping species from an animal to a human.
-I know nature is dangerous.
That's why I believe in pollution.
Hit 'em first.
It's kill or be killed.
-As I said, you are sort of America's Doctor right now.
People look to you for advice and for calm.
Who's your Dr. Fauci?
Who do you turn to?
-You know, my Dr. Fauci, unquestionably -- has been that way for a very long time -- is my wife, Christine Grady, who also works at the NIH.
She's the chair of the Department of Bioethics.
-Last year was hard.
Part of what I had to do was make sure that he was okay because he was killing himself.
And so trying to make sure there was some -- I don't know -- Stability is not the right word, but something that he could rely on at home, where he could come home and get food and get water and get sleep and then go back and do it again.
I mean, that became my mission.
-The thing about coming back home, even when it was, you know, 11:30, 12:00, and I was getting no sleep and things -- The idea of coming home to reality in its best form was absolutely essential.
-It was -- It still is, but it has been, from February of 2020 until today, February of 2021... intense.
Intensity is okay when it lets up, but when it never lets up, then you really got a problem.
[ Birds chirping ] -Hey, Isaac.
How are you, sir?
How are you?
-Just on my way to the hearing.
They had this crazy paper come out this morning that's completely misleading about the... Oh, my.
It's such a just pain in the ass.
It's so typical.
Well, either this evening or tomorrow, because I'm knee deep in the hearing now.
I can't be worried about -- -Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
-No, not right now.
We'll do both.
-How you doing?
-The chair now recognizes Mr. Jordan for five minutes.
-Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dr. Fauci, when is the time?
When do Americans get their freedom back?
Can you put your microphone on, please?
When we get the level of infection in this country low enough that it is not a really high threat -- -What is low enough?
Give me a number.
I mean, we had 15 days to slow the spread.
Turned into one year of lost liberty.
What metrics, what measures -- what has to happen before Americans get their freedoms back?
-My message, Congressman Jordan, is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as we possibly can to get the level of infection in this country low that it is no longer a threat.
That is when.
And I believe when that happens, you will see -- -What determines when?
-What -- What measure?
-I mean, are we just going to continue this forever or when do we get to the point -- What measure, what standard, what objective outcome do we have to reach before Americans get their liberty and freedoms back?
-You know, you're indicating liberty and freedom.
I look at it as a public-health measure to prevent people from dying and going to the hospital.
-You don't think Americans' liberties have been threatened the last year, Dr. Fauci?
They've been assaulted.
Their liberties have.
-I don't look at this as a liberty thing, Congressman Jordan.
-Well, that's obvious.
-I look at this as a public-health thing.
-But -- -I disagree with you on that.
-You think the Constitution is suspended during a virus?
During a pandemic?
It's certainly not.
Are we going to be here two years from now, wearing masks -- -No, I don't... -...asking Dr. Fauci the same question?
-You're ranting again.
Let me just -- -No, I'm not ranting.
-Yes, you are.
You know -- -We can call that ranting.
I actually call it standing up for the Constitution, which I take an oath to uphold, Dr. Fauci, every term that I serve in this Congress representing the folks in the 4th District of Ohio.
So it is not ranting.
It is defending the First Amendment.
-And we'd like an answer, or your best guess, since you've got an answer for everything else.
What does it have to be?
-Your time expired, sir.
You need to respect the chair and shut your mouth.
-He's getting in right now.
-[ Sighs ] I didn't want to antagonize him too much by saying he was ranting, but he was ranting.
So, one of the things I've learned from hearings like this, even though in some respects, it's a...show, the fact is, I have found, even when people who act like jerks, sometimes there is a kernel of truth in what they say.
And it may be advantageous to say, "Okay, should we be a little bit more flexible in telling people, 'Okay, fine.
Here's the recommendations that we say where you can go and what you can do after you've been vaccinated.
However, if you want to take a risk, go take a risk.'"
I mean, Jordan, you want to go to a restaurant, if you're vaccinated, go ahead, go for it.
Maybe we should do a little bit more of that to maintain credibility so it doesn't look like we're just sort of, you know, very close-minded police people.
[ Laughs ] Take care.
[ Paper crinkling ] I've developed, over the years, the ability to be able to tolerate a whole bunch of... Only because the greater good of what you're trying to do completely supersedes the nonsense.
When you think of all the time people like Jim Jordan and others throw that up at you, you think about it and you say to yourself, "You ass..." "We're going to villainize you so that my constituents can know that there's a bad guy there.
You know, they need a boogeyman.
They need somebody that they could start smashing away at."
I don't like this, you know, "you macho against me macho" nonsense.
But it reaches a point where you just don't take any...from anybody.
I mean, whether that has to do with my growing up in the streets of New York, where it was tough, I don't know.
I was born in Bensonhurst in Brooklyn, 1940.
My father was a pharmacist.
My mother went to Hunter College.
As soon as they started having children, my mother became a full-time homemaker.
When I was about 9 years old, my father bought his own pharmacy.
The pharmacist was kind of the neighborhood doctor.
When people were going through tough times and need a prescription and they didn't have the money to pay for it, he would say, "No.
Don't worry about it.
My sister and I used to say, "Dad, what is going on here?
We're not exactly the richest people in the world."
I mean, he didn't care.
And I guess that spilled over to me.
Public service is more important than financial gain.
I mean, that was something that was embedded in us from the time we were born.
I went to Cornell University Medical College, which is now Weill Cornell.
Medical school was terrific.
When you walk into medical school on the first day, you say, "God, I'd love to be one of the real heavy hitters in this place."
Going from the classroom, actually on to the wards, putting on your white pants and your white jacket and you start acting like a doctor -- But you're not a doctor.
You're a student.
I can still feel that excitement.
Excitement, intimidation, anxiety.
You don't want to make a mistake.
I loved it, and I fully wanted to just be a physician who just would take care of patients all day.
♪♪ It was the Vietnam War.
All the physicians were automatically drafted.
You had a choice -- in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, or the Public Health Service.
And I put in an application for the NIH, in the Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
My choice of infectious diseases and immunology is I wanted people that were really sick.
My personality is something like, "Yes or no, bing bang."
A microbe can either kill you or you can get better.
Life and death.
My mentor, who has played a very important part of my career, Shelly Wolf, had collected a large group of people that had prolonged fevers of unknown origin.
And as it turned out, they had inflammatory diseases of the vessels called vasculitis.
Whatever you did, almost all of these patients, with few exceptions, died.
What Shelly Wolf did, he gave me these patients and said, "Why don't you take this and make it your project?"
We figured out that it was an autoimmune disorder.
When we instituted therapy, they went into complete remission -- like 93% of them.
It was like -- holy mackerel.
What a breakthrough.
The fact that we made a huge difference in a disease that was very, very confounding and perplexing totally cemented me into loving clinical research.
Shelly Wolf said, "You know, you're really, really good as a clinical investigator.
You're one of the best I've ever seen."
And he said, "I believe that your career should be here at the NIH.
I want to bring you as a tenured scientist," which is unheard of.
Nobody gets tenure like that.
I was 28, 29.
I said, "Wow.
That's a great offer."
I said, "The only trouble is, I've been offered a position as chief resident in New York City."
And that's kind of what I always wanted to do.
If you become a chief resident at Cornell, you would automatically get offered being a partner in a practice.
Most of them were on Park Avenue or Fifth Avenue.
It was quite elite.
An incredible amount of money, I mean, a lot of money.
Shelly Wolf -- He said, "Go to New York, do the year of chief residency.
If you feel like you want to come back, I have a permanent position here for you."
So I went to New York.
It was one of the most enjoyable years of my life because it was pure clinical medicine -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I was single.
I had no commitments to anybody.
♪♪ I just jumped into it and loved every minute of it.
I literally worked every single day.
I mean, I was on every other night and every other weekend, but I was in the hospital even on days when I shouldn't have been.
♪♪ I was very good at it, with all due respect and modesty.
I was quite good and still am.
But back then, it was like I was at the peak of my clinical skills.
So have you been getting up and going around -- You could just look at the patient, and you're two thirds of the way knowing what's going on.
It's an instinct.
How about your appetite?
-We're working on it.
-You got to keep eating.
-We're working -- -You got to keep eating.
But it became clear to me somewhere around halfway to two-thirds of the way through, that as much as I love this, I really wanted to go back and do clinical research at the NIH.
Now, I know what you're gonna tell me.
You are gonna tell me this is a... Just to -- You haven't prepped me on this.
-You got it.
That's what it is.
-Morning, Dr. Fauci.
How are you?
How are you?
[ Laughter ] Okay.
What do we got?
-So, I am presenting a 51-year-old.
He has idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia.
-So did you read up on this?
-Yeah, I did.
-There was a description in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Do you know who wrote that?
-No, that's -- That's the good thing.
The question is -- Whenever I ask you a question, it's one of two things.
It's either one of our people or it was me.
Should we go?
-When I went down to the NIH, it was much more to my suiting.
You take care of patients, you do research.
You don't charge anybody for anything.
'Cause the NIH, nobody got charged for anything.
Good to see you.
-It's been a while.
-How you been?
-I'm doing great.
I'm doing great.
-I'm really delighted to see you doing well.
I wasn't thinking, at the time, that this is kind of a physician version of what my father did, but now that I look back on it, it actually was.
Do you remember when I came in to see you?
I know with all this mask stuff, it's really tough.
It's great to see you again.
-It's good seeing you, too.
-Tony, in his soul, is a physician who has a incredible way to identify with what patients are going through.
-How do you feel?
How do you feel now?
-I feel good.
-You look quite good for somebody that's been through what you've been through.
-No, I mean really.
-You know, the sort of palpable, persistent caring for what's happening and for the people that are being affected, it never goes away.
He always has that.
-My mother, she's just dying to make sure I get a picture with you.
-Say hi to your mother.
-Nice to see you.
Take care of yourself.
I'm a scientist.
I head a multibillion-dollar institution.
But fundamentally, I'm a physician.
Ultimately, it's gonna benefit that real person that you are now dealing with at the bedside.
There's no -- There's no substitute for that in my mind.
I mean, some people, I think, can do it very well without ever having to see a patient.
But, for me, for my identity of who I am, I need that.
What do we got?
So, India hit a new record.
Over 4,500 COVID deaths in India yesterday.
That's the worst day anywhere, ever, for COVID deaths.
-[ Sighs ] ♪♪ ♪♪ It's now been 14 months of a total disruption of people's lives.
♪♪ 560,000 people have died thus far, and we're getting 70,000 new infections a day.
It's palpable that there is really profound COVID-19 fatigue.
That's totally understandable.
I don't even argue with that because it's so -- such a natural human feeling.
What we're seeing now is the tension between people saying, "Okay.
Enough is enough.
I want to open up.
To hell with it.
I want to just get back to normal."
There have been sections of weeks at a time, or months at a time -- when the anthrax attacks and we thought we were going to get hit by an Al-Qaeda bioterror attack.
The swine flu of 2009.
Two Ebola outbreaks.
MERS in the Middle East.
But there were none that were really close to as much of a threat to the American people as COVID-19... except the summer of 1981.
♪♪ When you're going through history, you almost never know you're going through a historical period until you're finished with it and you say, "Whoa!"
And you go back and you say, "Wow."
MMWR is the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
And what it does, it keeps you up to date on disease patterns.
I remember seeing the first MMWR.
You know, I shook my head and said, "This is a fluke."
Previously otherwise healthy, young, gay men coming down with a bizarre set of diseases, all of which had the common denominator that they were seen in people whose immune system was completely destroyed.
Looking at that MMWR, I just blew it off.
I said, "This is some young guys taking some drug and suppressing their immune system, and that's how they got these opportunistic infections."
But when I got that second MMWR, it was the 4th of July weekend.
That's one of the first few times I kind of got goosebumps.
26 people from New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, curiously all gay men, with a completely bizarre, inexplicable disease that was virtually uniformly fatal.
And the thing that struck me is that I had never seen anything like that before.
You know, it was like -- I got afraid.
I was looking like, "26 men?
From three cities?
What the hell is this all about?"
♪♪ -It's new, it kills, and it's spreading.
A disease that has medical science baffled.
There are few scarier things than the discovery of a new killer disease, one medical science admits is mostly a mystery for which there is no certain cause or cure.
A mystery disease known as the "Gay Plague" has become an epidemic unprecedented in the history of American medicine.
♪♪ -Homosexuality has been with us forever, since the beginning of mankind.
Like, well, maybe because they're changing their sexual habits and they're having the sexual freedom that dates back to the Stonewall Inn riots back in 1969.
Yeah, but, you know, there was still a lot of interaction among -- sexual activity among gay men.
So what possibly could have changed?
The only possible explanation is that a new infectious agent, almost certainly a virus, was introduced into the gay population.
There was no other explanation than that.
-Doctors theorize that the virus can be passed along in body fluids such as blood, saliva, and semen.
-We don't know what we're dealing with and it's deadly and it's transmissible.
People were reluctant to get involved with this disease.
"Why bring those gay men into the hospital with this strange disease?
We don't even know what it is.
The other patients will be uncomfortable."
Some of the doctors didn't want to go near them.
There is a feeling among members of any of a number of professions, or just the general population, that patients with AIDS, many of whom are homosexual, are a little bit different.
♪♪ We were certain it was spread sexually, but we didn't know if it was spread by any other way, so there was a lot of concern early on.
Even back then, there were conspiracy theorists.
[ Laughs ] You know?
You know, saying that this was something the CIA did or whatever it is.
But we did know that it was attacking the immune system.
-So far, more than 500 known cases have been documented in 26 states and 9 countries.
60 to 80 new cases are currently being reported each month.
The fatality rate so far is an alarming 40%.
-It was very clear that this thing was, like, evolving, like a wave coming over us.
Every single week or month, there was something else new.
So that's when I said, "Wait a minute.
I've been trained as an immunologist.
I've been trained as an infectious-disease person.
This is a disease that was made for me."
♪♪ I used to feel, with some degree of pride -- and I would say, "The sicker you are, better for me, because if you're really sick, I'm the person you want to take care of you because I really know what I'm doing."
That paradigm didn't work.
It was coming up face to face with the fact that there's nothing you're doing here that's making a big difference.
♪♪ It was a complete darkness.
♪♪ Almost as if I'd put a block of thinking about it because it was so...traumatic -- traumatically different than what I had experienced before.
♪♪ I went from a world of success and gratification to a world of frustration and failure.
♪♪ I mean, because you felt, "Oh, my God.
What am I going to do?"
One guy dies, the next guy dies, the next guy dies, and they keep coming in.
You do it over and over again until you say, "Jesus."
♪♪ I saw this, and I said, "We've got to change that."
And one of the ways we could change it is if I assume a role and a position of leadership, of leadership that could harness resources.
When I was asked to become the director of NIAID at a very young age, I had to do some soul searching about whether I wanted to do that or not.
♪♪ Starting in November of 1984, I took the job, and I made it something that it was never before.
I made it a very dynamic job where the director gets involved in a lot of policy issues, more direct and serious interaction with the Congress.
As soon as we finish the Congressional answers to the questions, then we got to start worrying about the clinical meetings -- the FASEB and the AIDS International Congress.
I might point out, Mr. President and Commissioners, is the basic science base of the NIH has allowed us to take giant steps forward very quickly in attacking the AIDS epidemic.
And what we'll learn about AIDS will certainly help us in understanding diseases of the 21st century.
[ Applause ] It was the only way to broaden the scope of what my influ-- I don't mean like I wanted to be a big influencer, but it allowed me to have impact to really get HIV/AIDS on the map.
I mean, it -- it -- Politics has a bad reputation because it's sort of people manipulating and doing things for reasons that aren't the most noble reasons.
But you don't want to embrace the negative aspects of politics, but you need to understand it and be able to operate in that arena.
If you don't, you're gonna get run over like a truck.
-You're telling everybody to wear a mask, whether they've had an infection or a vaccine.
What I'm saying is they have immunity and everybody agrees they have immunity.
What studies do you have that people that have had the vaccine or have had the infection are spreading the infection?
If we're not spreading the infection, isn't it just theater?
-No, it's not.
-You've had the vaccine.
And you're wearing two masks.
Isn't that theater?
-No, that's not -- Here we go again with the "theater."
Let's get down to the facts.
-You want to get rid of vaccine hesitancy?
Tell them they can quit wearing their mask after they get the vaccine.
You want people to get the vaccine?
Give them a reward instead of telling them that the nanny state's gonna be there for three more years and you got to wear a mask forever.
People don't want to hear it.
There's no science behind it.
-Well, let me just state for the record that masks are not theater.
Masks are protective, and we ask -- -If you have immunity, they are theater.
If you already have immunity, you're wearing a mask to give comfort to others.
You're not wearing a mask because of any science.
-I totally disagree with you.
So, this is Anacostia, historic African-American neighborhood.
In New York, they have neighborhoods.
Here, they have wards.
So this is Ward 8.
It's the typical social determinants of health, where they don't get good medical care, they have a high degree of HIV, high degree of COVID-19, the lowest level of vaccination.
They're sort of the disenfranchised group that we got to reach out to.
So the mayor is now, with me, going to congratulate the people who are going to go out into the community to try and get people vaccinated.
-How are you?
-Hi, Madame Mayor.
Nice to see you.
-Thank you for coming.
-It's my pleasure.
Good to be here with you.
-It's going to be fun today.
Yes, it is.
-Having fun already.
I think they told me they have more people that have been this morning than they usually have at this site all day.
How you doing?
-I'm doing well.
How are you, Dr. Fauci?
-Oh, my gosh!
Let's take a -- -Oh, my gosh!
-You want a picture?
[ Camera shutter clicks ] -Thank you.
-Thank you so much.
-Thank you, Mayor.
-Thanks for getting vaccinated.
-Well, good morning, everybody.
[ Cheers and applause ] I want to give a special thank-you to our fellow Washingtonian Dr. Tony Fauci.
Let's hear it for Dr. Fauci!
[ Cheers and applause ] -Thank you very much, Madame Mayor.
It's really a great pleasure to be here in this ward.
I've been a resident of the District for 50 years, so I love this city.
So that's one of the reasons why I'm here.
I'd like to believe people listen to me, but some don't.
[ Laughter ] But when you have people who are part of the community, you know, the community core, the trusted messengers -- those are the ones they listen to.
So that's the reason why we need you to get out there and tell your colleagues, tell your friends, tell your loved ones why it's so important to get vaccinated.
So, once again, thank you so much for all you do.
We look forward to working with you.
-Thank you, Dr. Fauci!
[ Cheers and applause ] -Is that Dr. Fauci?
-[ Laughs ] I know.
He's -- Dr. Fauci really wants you to get vaccinated today.
-I've been vaccinated.
-I've been Fauc'ed.
-You got your Fauci ouchie?
[ Laughter ] -I'm vaccinated.
-Well, good for you.
It's nice to see you.
-Nice to meet you.
-I've been vaccinated since April the 23rd, and I did it because I felt I needed to be a solution and not part of the problem.
-There you go.
Do you think it hurts?
It does other things to me.
-I just pass out.
-How old are you?
-I'm older than you.
So don't feel badly.
-How old are you?
[ Laughs ] -Me too.
I'm 80, too.
[ Laughter ] -That's one of the reasons why you might want to reconsider.
-You see, what I find is people aren't really opposed.
-Yeah, I know.
-But they do need a push.
-They need a little push.
-A push and a drag.
-I ain't coming out.
I got no clothes on!
This is Dr. Fauci.
[ Laughter ] Hey, Dr. Fauci, if I had some clothes on, I'd come out and give you a kiss.
I can't do it now.
I ain't got no clothes on.
Well, I give it back to you.
And we're gonna come back and talk to her son.
-Y'all see Dr.
-What are we gonna do about those other states?
-Oh, my God.
They're gonna keep the outbreak smoldering in the country.
It's so crazy.
They're not doing it because they say they don't want to do it.
They don't like to be told what to do.
-And we got to break that, unpack that.
-How you guys doing with vaccine?
-Oh, I haven't really gotten it yet.
I'm waiting for them to be able to.
-Oh, you should get it first.
That way, you won't give it to them.
-Oh, I thought I would give it to them if I get it.
-No, no, not at all.
In fact, we got to get you vaccinated so that if you were to get infected, you could pass it on to them.
So you're actually protecting your family by getting vaccinated.
-Well, I heard that it doesn't cure it and it doesn't stop you from getting it.
On the very, very, very rare chance that you do get it, even if you're vaccinated, you don't even feel sick.
It's like you don't even know you got infected.
It's very, very good at protecting you.
-Just at Anacostia.
So get up there.
See you later.
-Have a good day.
-The people in America are not settled with the information that's been given to us right now.
So I'm not gonna be lining up taking a shot on a vaccination for something that wasn't clear in the first place.
And then you all create a shot in miraculous time.
It takes years to create vaccinations.
-Well, it used to take years.
You know how many years were invested in this approach?
About 20 years of science to get us to be able to do it quickly.
-20 years is not enough.
And nine months is definitely not enough for nobody to be taking no vaccination that you all came up with.
-The only reason I'm talking to you right now, as close as we are, is that I've been vaccinated.
-But if thousands of people like you don't get vaccinated, you're gonna let this virus continue to percolate in this country and in this world.
-Something like the common flu then, right?
-It's much more serious than the flu.
-Well, the flu kills a lot of people.
-You know how many people died of the flu the last year?
Not this year.
But the previous year.
About 20,000 to 30,000.
You know how many people have died from COVID-19 in the United States?
-Well, the number that you all giving that died -- once again, that's you all's number.
-You gonna pass?
'Cause when you start talking about paying people to get vaccinated, when you start talking about incentivizing things to get people vaccinated, there's something else going on with that.
There's something else going on with that.
-It is something going on with it.
But I'm glad millions of people like me and most everybody here didn't get an incentive.
You know what their incentive was?
Protecting their health and protecting the city.
I won't keep you anymore.
-Well, it's okay 'cause my sense it that y'all campaign is about fear.
It's about inciting fear in people.
You all attack people with fear.
That's what this pandemic is.
It's a fear.
That's all it is.
-The most frustrating thing is that we have the tool, and you got these people.
"We're not getting vaccinated."
You have to embrace brown and Black people because they have an understandable reluctance based on the history of how the federal medical establishment has treated brown and Black people.
They still remember, even though most of them were not born, the infamous Tuskegee experiments when they were having treatment for syphilis withheld from them to understand what the disease was.
That history lingers about mistrust of the government.
But now we're seeing another group that we haven't seen before and its vaccine abject refusal.
And if you look at it, it is very sharply divided along ideological lines where red-state Republicans are much less likely to get vaccinated than blue-state Democrats.
There's a hardcore crew of them that say, "Because you said it works, I'm not gonna listen to you."
♪♪ When you have people who are saying, "Don't take the vaccine, it doesn't work, it causes, whatever, you to grow horns out of your head, it's got chips in it that Bill Gates and Tony Fauci put in," that kills people.
If you look at the hospitalizations and the deaths, the difference between the people who are unvaccinated -- highly, highly disproportionately, multi, multi, multi times more likely you're going to get seriously ill and/or you're going to die.
Disinformation and misinformation kills.
There's nothing about me that cares anything about the standard politics.
You know, left, right, middle.
The only thing I care about is medicine, science, and public health.
People who come in and try and intersperse politics in that, that's crap.
[ Siren wails ] -Do you know what Americans should be concerned about?
Is our tax dollars funding research that creates viruses that should only be spread among animals but then become so, so contagious that are spread among humans, sicken people, and kill people.
That's what people should be concerned about.
-Dr. Fauci, knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11th where you claimed that the NIH never funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan?
-Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress.
-Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement.
This paper that you are referring to was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain of function.
-So you take -- -What was -- Let me finish.
-You take an animal virus and you increase it's transability to humans.
You're saying that's not gain of function?
-Yeah, that is correct.
And, Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially.
You do not know what you are talking about.
You get one person -- -...from the NIH... -Can I answer the question?
-...gain of function.
-There is a number of experiments that need to be done on viruses.
How are you going to know whether or not they're capable of infecting humans unless you examine them?
Which means doing something under certain circumstances that make a pathogen more transmissible or more pathogenic, which some people refer to as "gain of function."
-They took animal viruses that only occur in animals, and they increased their transmissibility to humans.
How you can say that is not gain of function... -Rand Paul was insidiously throwing into his little questions that the work that was done in the Wuhan lab, funded by a small grant from NIH -- a strong implication that that created a virus that made COVID.
I have 10,000 grants throughout the world.
What they've done is that they've looked at various grants and they make something of it that it isn't.
The microbe they were working on not only was not SARS-CoV-2, it would be molecularly impossible for them to turn it into SARS-CoV-2.
They were so different.
It's kind of like you have a Chevrolet and you got a motorcycle, and you say, "I want to make that Chevrolet into the motorcycle."
No matter what you do to that Chevrolet, you're not gonna make it into a motorcycle.
Like, what are you talking about?
-It's a dance, and you're dancing around this because you're trying to obscure responsibility for 4 million people dying around the world from a pandemic.
-You are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individual.
I totally resent that.
-And it could have been.
-And if anybody is lying here, Senator, it is you!
You get attacked, you know, by right-wing crazy people.
The hyper far-right conservative members of Congress send you letters asking you 400 questions that completely suck up your time.
That's probably the most distracting, wearing thing about all of this.
I mean, the personal attacks are just intensifying.
People believe anything that somebody puts in front of them.
-Have they played you the voicemails that you've received?
They do that to protect me.
-I'm not gonna play them for you then.
Play it if you want.
[ Chuckles ] -Dr. Fauci, you have destroyed America.
And you know what?
I hope that when you die it's painful and it's long.
He's a fake.
He's a fraud.
-Hitler is nothing against you... -Warning to Fauci.
I have asked the God of Israel, our creator, and his only son, Jesus Christ, my savior, to destroy him.
-How is it that Dr. Fauci is still with the NIH?
The man's a publicity hound.
The man is only interested in money.
-I understand that Anthony Fauci developed COVID-19 in 2014.
-[ Laughing ] -Please have Dr. Fauci explain this to Americans, why he sold it... -Yeah.
-...to the Chinese to use against us.
-So... -I think he's a little psycho, don't you?
-I'm a psycho.
-...did this on purpose.
Biden won now.
So you guys can play your...game and stop doing this... fake...pandemic.
-We, the people, are going to find him.
We're gonna rip his little head off and...down his neck.
Have a great day.
-So, it is interesting... troublesome, and sad... the extraordinary degree of divisiveness that we have in society.
Somebody who can look at a public-health message, to turn that into hate for the person who is communicating it.
So you have to think about that for a second.
I'm just trying to save people from getting sick and dying.
And yet if you trigger that kind of hostility -- Well, you're playing people who are, you know, saying hate things, but there are things that are actual threats to my life, to my family, to my wife, to my children.
I mean, when it gets that far, you know we really got a problem.
So my job and the job of my colleagues is that we're responsible for making sure that virus doesn't overwhelm us.
That's my job.
From my lovely wife.
Don't go away.
-You're gonna do that on the camera?
"When I married you..." [ Muttering ] -[ Laughs ] -Wow.
Make me tear.
-[ Laughs ] -Thank you.
[ Indistinct conversations ] -This poor kid probably thought, "What have I got myself into?
Delivering to this house."
-Who's it for?
It's from your daughters.
[ Laughs ] -You got the right people.
-[ Chuckles ] You want to put it inside, Tony?
You want to put it inside?
Guy was looking at us like... -Poor guy.
[ Laughs ] So -- [ Laughs ] Brad told me when I walked up to the house, that is a classic way of what they call a slow roll.
Where somebody just pulls up and shoots from the car.
Whenever they see a slow roll, they go...bonkers.
-Oh, my God.
The poor kid.
Did you see them jump out of the car?
-Oh, my goodness.
-[ Laughs ] -So, Tony has security 24/7.
It started in the spring of 2020.
Yeah, and they go with us everywhere we go.
I never answer the door.
I never answer the phone.
We don't get any mail at the house.
You feel like you have to be aware all the time that there's a possible danger.
You didn't smell the rose yesterday.
Want to smell it?
See if you can smell it?
Let me see.
-[ Laughs ] -[ Sniffs ] Ahh.
-You got it?
Some of the messages make me furious.
I mean, I get some of my own.
"You're gonna rot in hell, and you should be hung."
You know, things like that.
-I mean, it's very sad actually.
Sometimes it's scary, but mostly it's sad.
There are two things that are true.
One is I know how hard he works and how much he cares about what he's doing.
And I also get to see lots of positive feedback that he gets from people.
-You're one of my heroes.
Good to see you.
-You would think that some of the gratitude was a positive thing.
It doesn't feel positive.
It feels exposed.
You feel so exposed.
That just doesn't feel -- That doesn't feel good.
That's not a positive way to go through life.
-Fauci, we know you're... [ Indistinct shouting ] -The motivations of these people who are attacking me, they speak for themselves.
[ Horn honking ] We're dealing with a completely hyper-hostile partisan group who fundamentally I guess you could say hate me for reasons that I think I can figure out because, you know, I stand for something that may be inconvenient for them.
It's called the truth.
[ Indistinct shouting ] That is 1,000% different than the AIDS activists.
They were trying to get me to see what the truth was for them.
-We're here because this government has the resources to deal with the AIDS epidemic, and they won't do it unless we force them.
-Do your job, get back to work!
-When the activists were trying to get the attention to say, "You're not considering our needs," I was totally the bull's-eye.
-Dr. Anthony Fauci is deciding the research priorities for the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
We're down here 'cause we think we should be deciding the research priorities because these are the people who know what's going on 'cause they're dealing with it every day!
-AIDS activists have an additional agenda.
John Roszak of public station KQED San Francisco reports on one activist group called ACT UP.
-It was not, "Pretty please, do this for me."
It was, "We're gonna close down your...Wall Street."
-Healthcare is a right!
Healthcare is a right, healthcare is a right!
Healthcare is a right!
-And the Golden Gate Bridge.
-Run over the son of a bitches!
Run 'em over!
-And St. Patrick's Cathedral.
-Prayers won't save the 1 to 1.5 million people infected by human immunodeficiency virus.
-We're not gonna take it anymore!
You're killing us!
-People die every day.
Friends get sick every day.
I don't -- It's like being in the trenches.
There is such anger in the community, and it is coalescing in a way that has never been done before.
-There's this firebrand person, Larry Kramer.
He looked upon himself and was the fiercest protector of the gay community.
-What does it take to get this country to take its...thumb out of its ass?!
-Larry Kramer made it a special cause of his to pick me out as the face of the federal government.
And it culminated in an extraordinary article that he wrote in the San Francisco Examiner.
He got the front page of the magazine section of the Sunday paper, and it was an open letter to an "incompetent idiot," and it was me.
"I called you murderer."
That was jolting.
For him to do that, then maybe I really need to pay attention what the hell is going on.
Larry Kramer was the explosion that blew open the doors to allow the more measured, informed, energetic group of people to come and have an effect.
-We've just released a report, a critique of all the NIH's AIDS programs.
-The research is spread out over 12 agencies.
There's no coordination.
There's a lot of duplication.
There's no leadership.
-And that was predominantly Peter Staley, Gregg Gonsalves, David Barr, and a bunch of others that were there.
They turned out to be game changers.
Great to see you all.
Really good to see you, too.
-I developed long-term friendships with the activists.
We were sort of like soldiers in the same war.
I can't precisely remember when we actually first met.
-We were all positive.
-It was early '89.
-We would've been how old?
-I was 28.
I was a baby.
[ Laughter ] I'm gonna die from this.
This isn't gonna be cured for years and years and years and years.
-You know, maybe that is our future, that we're gonna watch each other die.
That's not a new thought.
We've been thinking that ever since we started the group.
-We didn't get involved thinking, "Oh, we're gonna get it and we're gonna look at drug regulation and clinical research."
We wanted treatment 'cause we were sick.
And the only place where there was any possible area to get any treatment was through the Clinical Research System.
And that's what led us to you.
-You were a target, a major target.
He was the head of AIDS research.
And we were one of the most hated communities in the country.
-Say the word "AIDS" in public.
You know, that took the President seven years.
-The polling showed that homophobia just kept rising during AIDS.
There was a backlash that was just getting worse and worse.
We'll never be silent again!
We'll never be silent again!
We'll never be silent again!
[ Indistinct shouting ] -This is a scientific institution!
You don't fit our profiles!
-When you guys would be theatrical and stuff, the scientists would run away.
-Anthony Fauci, I... on you.
I mean, what the hell are these people doing?
They're not producing drugs.
-And I was saying, "Let me put aside the theatrics, the iconoclastic behavior, the insults, the disruptions."
I got the point of, "Wait a minute.
Just listen to what they're saying."
When I went down to the Gay and Lesbian Community Center in New York City, it was like a 100 of you guys, and I was alone.
[ Laughter ] -You keep referring to data and how good it is, whether it can be interpreted.
Now, the data, it has not been published.
It's not available for anyone to scrutinize.
So I think that there's inconsistencies here.
-Now, that's wrong.
-But you keep saying I'm wrong.
-I'll tell you why you're wrong.
-We got a point for the data.
-You see, this is what I mean.
You're making a presumption, and I'll tell you why you're absolutely wrong... -Where is it?
...with all due respect.
-Where is it?
-You go to a phone, you dial 1-800-TrialsAid, and you ask them to send it to your home, and they'll send you a packet of the data on that.
-Well, they didn't send it to ACT UP.
-They didn't send it to you?
-We haven't gotten it.
[ Indistinct conversations ] -We'll get you the raw data.
The data is available.
The data is available.
We'll give you the data.
I promise you, we'll give you the data.
Do you think that there's some conspiracy?
You don't think it exists?
-Do I think there's a conspiracy?
Yes, I do think there is still a conspiracy really to not help in a lot of different ways.
-We're gonna move on.
-I'll never forget that meeting.
It was sort of like walking into a lion's den with a bunch of lions who you didn't know whether they were going to sit down and let you pet them or they were going to chew you up.
-We do not have the power to tell people what to do in the way that you do.
You are a politician, as much as you are a scientist, and we understand that and we respect that position.
-Well, I have to disagree with you, whether you want to hoot it or not.
I am not a politician.
I have to function in a world that overlaps politics and science, but I have never had a political consideration make any decision that I've made, and my decisions are all scientific decisions.
Now, you can believe that or you don't have to believe it, but that is the truth.
This is where I disagree with you.
I think that -- This is nothing personal.
I think that you may be naive in understanding how you can get things done in Washington, okay?
You don't get many shots of going out like the Lone Ranger.
You get one shot to get something done if you do that.
That's the name of the game.
-We knew we were gonna get the full "Fauc" effect.
[ Laughter ] -I'm telling you.
It's a thing.
[ Laughter ] -Seize the FDA!
Seize the FDA!
52 will die today!
[ Indistinct shouting ] -How did you get to the same level of frustration with the FDA the same time we were?
-Well, something just didn't make any sense.
At the time, there was only one anti-HIV drug.
That was AZT.
It was a drug that would keep you alive longer, and it was something that everybody wanted to be on.
But even with the new drug, people were getting a lot of opportunistic infections.
That's when I became aware of how crazily rigid we were.
I went to San Francisco.
They take me up to this apartment, and there was a guy in bed -- and he was obviously advanced disease -- who was gradually losing his vision.
He had a virus called cytomegalovirus.
It rips away at your retina and makes you blind.
So, a new drug came out called ganciclovir.
And the FDA rule was if you're getting ganciclovir, you can't be on any other drug like AZT.
And he said, "Dr. Fauci, what the hell is going on here?
Either I'm going to go off the AZT and die sooner or not take the CMV drug and go blind.
That's exactly what he told me.
And he really laid into me.
And it was just one of those things that -- Those were his exact words.
-So, we start pushing you on parallel track for the next five or six... -The activists were saying, "Why can't we have a parallel track where you do your clinical trial -- at the same time get drugs to people who needed drugs?"
Which the FDA was dead set against.
But I really felt at that point I had to do it.
It was one of those things that I knew it was so right.
We're discussing it actively with the people from the FDA to say, "Let's just call a time-out here and see if we can conduct these clinical trials at the same time that we can make the drug available to those individuals like I spoke to in San Francisco who want to be on the drug but don't fit into the clinical trial."
Front page on every major newspaper.
I didn't realize it was gonna be a big splash.
I really didn't.
-What was hysterical about the New York Times article is that you said, "I call it parallel track."
[ Laughter ] -Did I say that, really?
-Peter has the receipts.
-Well, I actually, though, have always given credit to the -- -No, you have.
-And I remember when I flew home on the red eye that night, John Sununu called me.
-Oh, yeah, I was -- -He was the chief of staff.
-He was chief of staff, and at that time I had developed a really, really good relationship with George H.W.
I mean, a really close, warm relationship.
And Sununu gets on the phone and he says, "Tony, the boss wants to know what's going on.
What is this all about?"
He says, "You're at conflict with the FDA."
And I said, "John," I said, "This is really the right thing to do.
So would you tell the President --" I didn't speak to the President.
I said, "Would you tell the President that, in my judgment, this was the right thing to do"?
So, you know, a few hours later, and whatever it is, the next day, he calls back.
He says, "We're good.
Don't worry about it."
Immediately the FDA says, "I'm with Fauci completely.
We're totally with him.
There's not a sliver of light between us."
-Certain days, he's a hero.
Certain days... [ Laughter ] -We appreciated what you did.
-And we knew that, "Okay, we have a working relationship now."
But we didn't go, "Oh, yay.
It's a hero."
It's like -- Okay.
We're all facing... -Mass death.
People were dying around us all the time.
And we got a drop in the bucket for a drug that might work, that might help some people for a short period of time.
We saw that and felt, well, we need to change that.
[ Cheers and applause ] -We basically had won most everything we wanted out of the FDA.
-For that day, the eyes of the country and the world were on us and not on what the FDA had to say.
They were on our agenda.
-But there's still a lot of junk happening at NIAID under Tony's purview that we have to fix.
We're dying of all these opportunistic infections, and they're promising drugs for those opportunistic infections.
You're not studying those.
We're gonna be dead.
And we needed it to turn around.
-We felt that we had a right to hear the data... -Why don't you do, like, an informational slide first?
-...and deciding what protocols would move ahead, what the shape of those protocols were.
-Having a seat at the table at all, the decisions that matter to our lives.
But the executive committee was saying, "No...way."
-And we went to you and we went to your office and said, "Well, we want to be able to attend these meetings."
-We felt that you were on our side, but you're not the Tony Fauci you are today.
You were still quite young and you were saying, "I hear you, but the executive committee is like -- They're a wall right now."
And then we upped the pressure.
-I don't know what Fauci thinks, but this ain't Denmark and something stinks.
After three and a half years of existence, there ain't much to justify subsistence.
It's getting warm.
The party's over.
We're here to storm the NIH.
Storm the NIH.
This is war.
-Mounted police and others wearing rubber gloves confronted about 1,000 AIDS activists this morning at the National Institutes of Health.
-You have to understand that the demonstrations were theater, and you need an enemy.
They do nothing!
They do nothing!
They do nothing!
-It wasn't about you personally.
-No, I never took any of that personally.
I used the famous "Godfather" thing -- "strictly business, nothing personal."
[ Indistinct shouting ] And Peter was on the top of that little roof.
One of the cops almost had a heart attack because he goes by me with a cop standing there and he says, "Hey, Tony, I told you I was gonna get arrested!
I'm the first person arrested!"
And the cop looks at me.
He's like, "Who the...is that?"
[ Laughter ] I began to realize that you were on the right side of history and they were not.
And it was at that point that I said, "I have to buck them."
-People with AIDS and their advocates have finally done this for them.
This is it.
This is the plan we're presenting.
We need our government to read this plan.
We need them to work with us.
If they want to change it a little, we'll talk to them.
-So the demonstration and all of that had an effect?
Particularly you getting arrested had an effect.
-We did stupid... We did things that were just totally counterproductive.
And, so, for all the criticisms that we can throw towards Tony, we can reflect it back on us.
-I mean, I think the right things clearly outweighed the mistakes.
There were a couple of mistakes.
-What about your mistakes?
-Yeah, I made a few.
[ Laughter ] -Maybe one or two.
-But then again, too few to mention.
-As Frank Sinatra says.
[ Laughter ] To say the least.
♪♪ I looked at the MMWR in June and July 1981.
And 15 years later, the cocktail that opened up the door to what people were calling the Lazarus Effect, where people who were clearly, like, on their way to dying would all of a sudden be back up.
It was 1996.
But HIV/AIDS had that first period of a few years that none of us who went through that will ever forget.
Great to see you all.
Really good to see you, too.
♪♪ -Of all the things that I've been involved with -- basic science, clinical science, drugs for HIV -- the idea of having partnered with George W. Bush to create the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which is PEPFAR.
And PEPFAR has saved millions of lives of people receiving anti-HIV in Africa and developing countries.
To create that, I look upon as the thing I will always consider one of the most important things that I've done.
♪♪ -Let's take a snapshot of where we are right now.
The good news is that cases seem to be coming down and have been doing so since January.
-The death rate, of course, has slowed dramatically.
-Vaccinations are increasing.
That leads many to believe we are beginning to see more light at the end of the tunnel.
-There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Things look good.
But we got to keep putting our foot to the pedal when it comes to public-health measures.
♪♪ ♪♪ The real kick in the pants was when Delta came along.
♪♪ It was very discouraging, to think you almost have your arms around it, you almost have it grasped, and all of a sudden, yet again, you get another surge.
♪♪ The personal feeling is one of impotence, like, "What am I going to do?
I mean, I'm doing my best, and people are still getting infected and they're dying."
Even with all the tools we have, we're averaging about 1,000 deaths per day.
In the very, very beginning, if I knew then what I know now, I would've done things differently.
Back -- Back in January, February of 2020, there was data indicating that you didn't need to have a mask -- the data being that there's no evidence that they protect outside of the hospital, there's very little infection transmitted asymptomatically.
We have a shortage of masks.
The data were misleading.
But they were there.
And they misled me.
If I were an infallible person, I would've said, "Wear a mask anyway, even if we don't know those things."
Maybe I should have done that.
But I was not acting on that kind of instinct.
Yeah, I was wrong.
♪♪ ♪♪ [ Keyboard clacking ] ♪♪ -I've watched him for 38 years now.
And I have been -- persistently, actually -- begging for some time off, an afternoon or an evening or a weekend or something.
Just take some time to relax and do something else.
And he hasn't done it.
He hasn't done it.
He won't do it.
And so, you know, that's -- I think that's where the toll is gonna be.
♪♪ -♪ O'er the land of the free ♪ [ Cheers and applause ] ♪ And the home of the brave ♪ [ Cheers and applause ] Thank you.
God bless America.
[ Cowbell clanging ] ♪♪ -My job is science, medicine, and public health.
And, unfortunately, it got caught up in a very, very bizarre dynamics that are going on in this country.
-Do you trust the CDC and the FDA?
-Do you trust Fauci?
[ Cheering ] -When you have this amount of divisiveness and lack of ability to come together, there's not a good ending to this.
In many respects, really scary.
You know, untruth, fabrication, conspiracy theories, and politics are the enemy of public health.
There's no way I'm gonna walk away from that, because then that would be letting these crazy elements win.
And there's no way they're gonna win, period.
-I don't want people to get the impression that I'm never walking away from this job.
If this thing gets down to a good control, whatever that is, I have no idea what time that's gonna be.
That may be this year.
That may be next year.
I don't know.
But I want to get it to the point where we can say that we have a pretty good control over this outbreak, and when we do, then I will seriously consider.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -Dr. Anthony Fauci has announced that he will step down in December.
Why are you -- Why are you stepping down now?
Why retire now?
You've come this far.
-Some might say, "What took you so long?"
[ Laughs ] -The face of COVID himself, Dr. Anthony Fauci, announces retirement after 50 long years of bleeding the government dry.
Tony sees the writing on the wall and knows Republicans are gonna retake the house in November and investigate him into oblivion.
-We've talked about it for a while.
One thing that actually was part of our conversation was, "Will people think that's the reason?"
And the answer is no.
I mean, there's so many other reasons that make sense for Tony in his life.
-The landmark that I was counting on was getting the COVID outbreak behind me.
We have a very unusual virus, so the best we're gonna do is to get it down to a low-enough level that you can essentially live with it.
We are never gonna eradicate this.
-I think some of it -- and you can correct me if this is wrong -- some of it was a realization that tying the knot on this was not gonna be something that could be done in six months or maybe even six years.
-So, what's gonna be different in June of 2023 that's different from now?
[ Chuckles ] Hey, Brad.
How are you?
How are you?
♪♪ ♪♪ -I've been coming onto this campus every single day for 54 years.
See you later.
♪♪ This is my home.
It's been my home longer than most people have been alive.
But I have to step down sometime.
-When you told your wife and your kids, "I'm going to retire," what did they say to you?
-Well, they were very pleased.
They know me better, that I likely will not retire in the classic sense.
But they took it a little skeptically.
They're saying, "Well, you know, sure, Dad, you're gonna retire, but we don't believe you."
[ Laughs ] ♪♪ ♪♪ One of my aspirations was to stay until we had an HIV vaccine.
It's such a formidable scientific problem.
But there are enough good people in the field to take the baton and get over the finish line.
I can't be in the battle forever.
♪♪ Oh, am I old.
When people say, "Congratulations on your retirement.
Where are you gonna go play golf and where you gonna...?"
I mean, the thought of that is almost ludicrous to me.
♪♪ What do I have left in me?
♪♪ While I still have the energy, let me start what I hope will be a several-year period of being out there trying to inspire people to go into science.
-You got your next one.
-This next chapter is scary, and jumping out is gonna be hard.
But once the parachute opens and you land and figure out what's next, it could be really great.
So I think it's gonna be kind of like that.
-Let's hope the parachute opens.
[ Both laugh ] -It will.
♪♪ -Public health is the broader issue of the health of a population... ♪♪ ...even though the public is made up of individual people.
♪♪ Even though, strictly speaking, my training was not in public health... ♪♪ ...I'm a physician, so I know what it means to be responsible for an individual patient.
♪♪ Going back to my days when I was a resident and chief resident at the New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center... that feeling you would get in the middle of the night -- you've really taken care of your patient.
♪♪ Somebody might have died if you didn't pay that attention to them.
♪♪ That's the feeling that counts.
It's how you feel about what you've accomplished.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪