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Anthony Fauci, whose speech Trump restricted, is a public-health hero



  • The Trump administration reportedly barred Anthony Fauci, a top US experts on infectious disease, from speaking publicly about the coronavirus outbreak without approval.
  • Some of Fauci’s statements about the virus have been at odds with claims from President Trump.
  • US public-health experts are angry, and one said his silence “is a threat to public health and safety.”
  • Fauci has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. He’s tackled the AIDS, Zika, and Ebola epidemics.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Anthony Fauci has guided the US through the AIDS, Zika, and Ebola epidemics. 

He’s been the director of the US’ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, advising six presidents. George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008.

Fauci is now helping to lead the response to the new coronavirus outbreak.

But the Trump administration has reportedly told Fauci and other top health officials “not to say anything else without clearance” from the White House, according to The New York Times. A NIAID spokesperson told Business Insider that “this is not true,” however.

Fauci’s comments about the coronavirus have contradicted Trump’s several times. Whereas Trump said the US “will essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner,” Fauci has estimated that we’re between a year and a year-and-a-half away from a coronavirus vaccine. Trump also expressed optimism that COVID-19 — the disease the virus causes — will disappear, but Fauci has suggested the world is on the brink of a pandemic. 

US health experts were angry about the White House’s restrictions on Fauci’s speech, the Times reported, given that the world is in the midst of one of the worst public-health crises in years.

“Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama trusted Tony Fauci to be their top adviser on infectious disease, and the nation’s most trusted communicator to the public,” Ronald Klain, who led the Obama administration’s response to the 2014 Ebola crisis, tweeted on Thursday.

He added, “If Trump is changing that, it is a threat to public health and safety.” 

Here are some of Fauci’s biggest accolades and achievements.

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