A large number of the letters published concern Fauci’s correspondence with other health authorities and with health officials from organizations ranging from the Chinese government to the National Football League Players Association. It is immediately noticeable that many of these men and women have worked with Fauci for years or decades and held him in high regard. The letters often raise concerns for his health, especially given the long hours he clearly pulls and how often he appears on television. Stunned by how he has become the focus of many stories, Fauci explains that he needs to clean up after “mixed news” from the White House, but he carefully avoids filing explicit complaints about Trump, Jared Kushner, and others who do inserted itself into the early pandemic and set the United States on its way to catastrophe.
These friends of Fauci had cause for concern. The timestamps in the emails show that the 80-year-old scientist was often up well after midnight answering his correspondence and then back on the system very early in the morning before a long day of meetings and media.
Republicans – including Cotton – appear to be trying to turn an exchange Fauci had with the director of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention into a conspiracy. George Gao. In this exchange, Gao apologizes to Fauci for an article quoting him that it was a “big mistake” not to tell people to wear masks from the start. Gao says these were the journalist’s words, not an exact quote. In his conclusion on Fauci, Gao writes: “Let’s work together to get the virus out of the earth.”
In response, Fauci writes: “I understand completely. No problem. Together we will get through this.” And of course this last sentence is undoubtedly repeated at this moment to prove that Fauci has somehow conspired with China on something, something, something.
Most of all, the news shows that Fauci was under even more pressure than was evident from his television appearances. He was faced with a deluge of incoming messages, often in excess of 1,000 emails a day, mixing academic papers and updates with interview requests, questions and comments from the White House. What the news shows is a guy who has been caught in a storm of public scrutiny every day and is still doing his job. What the messages show is in itself a kind of miracle.
Not all emails are directed to concerned friends, interview-hungry media outlets, or angry White House staff. For example, one email came from a military chaplain who wrote “to express my deep appreciation for your work during the COVID-19 pandemic”. The chaplain thanks Fauci for “how you have invested a lot of time and capital in reaching the black and brown communities,” commends him for keeping minority communities “informed,” and tells him, “Take care and ‘Cover your six’. ”
On April 8th, Gao wrote to Fauci again. “I’ve seen some news (hope it’s fake) that [you] are attacked by some people. I hope you are well in such an irrational situation. “
“Everything is fine, despite some crazy people in this world,” replied Fauci.
Let’s just hope that, given all the truthful advice Fauci has given to the nation and the world, this statement remains correct.