When the pandemic upended American life last spring, Dr. Anthony Fauci was an incredibly busy man—but the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director still made time to respond to a flood of emails, many of them seeking advice. The Washington Post has obtained 866 pages of Fauci's emails from March and April 2020 under a Freedom of Information Act request. The emails show that Fauci, who communicated with lawmakers, hospital administrators, NFL officials, and foreign governments, among many others, was puzzled by his sudden fame but tried to keep up with correspondence, sometimes sending emails past midnight. He was in frequent contact with White House officials and did not directly criticize then-President Trump, though he did accept praise for challenging Trump's claims about COVID-19.
"I was getting every single kind of question, mostly people who were a little bit confused about the mixed messages that were coming out of the White House and wanted to know what’s the real scoop," Fauci tells the Post. When a colleague sent him a link to a story about Fauci fandom, he replied, "Truly surrealistic. Hopefully, this all stops soon." In one email, Rep. Fred Upton, a senior House Republican, thanked Fauci for being a "science truth teller." As Trump stepped up his attacks on China, Fauci kept in contact with George Gao, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Axios reports. Gao expressed his concerns after seeing news reports that Fauci was "being attacked by some people." "Thank you for your kind note," Fauci replied. "All is well despite some crazy people in this world." (Read more Anthony Fauci stories.)