Dr. Anthony Fauci says White House attempts to discredit him are "bizarre"—but he would prefer to concentrate on fighting the pandemic instead of the "games people are playing." In an interview with the Atlantic published Wednesday, the nation's top infectious-disease expert said the White House attacks, including the release of a document listing times he had supposedly contradicted himself, are "nonsense." "I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that," Fauci said. "I think they realize now that that was not a prudent thing to do, because it's only reflecting negatively on them." As for Peter Navarro, the White House economic adviser who slammed Fauci as "wrong about everything" in an op-ed, "he's in a world by himself. So I don't even want to go there," Fauci said.
Fauci said he met with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows Monday and told him the White House memo was a mistake. "When the staff lets out something like that and the entire scientific and press community push back on it, it ultimately hurts the president," he said. "And I don't really want to hurt the president." Fauci—who told the Atlantic he just wants to do his job and has no intention of resigning—said it is time to "push a reset button" in the fight against the coronavirus and get everybody on the same team. He said if states in trouble right now "pause and say 'Okay, we're going to do it right, everyone wear a mask, bars closed, no congregating in crowds, keep your distance, protect the vulnerable'—if we do that for a few weeks in a row, I'll guarantee you those numbers will come down." (Read more Anthony Fauci stories.)