Asked whether passing the baton to someone else could lessen the divisiveness around the government’s pandemic response, he answered in the negative.
»Sign up for our coronavirus newsletter
“I didn’t create political divisiveness,” Fauci said. “And that’s the thing we’re dealing with. We’re dealing with the uncomfortable but real element of political divisiveness at a time when we are in the middle of a war against a virus.”
Throughout the pandemic, Fauci has led efforts to get Americans to wear masks, practice social distancing and, for nearly a year now, get vaccinated.
“So, I'm going to keep doing that until this COVID-19 outbreak is in the rearview mirror, regardless of what anybody says about me, or wants to lie and create crazy fabrications because of political motivations."
- Dr. Anthony Fauci
In the process, he became a lightning rod for right-wing criticism of public safety measures. More than half of respondents to a small Hill-HarrisX poll recently said he should step down.
Fauci on Sunday lamented former President Donald Trump’s handling of the outbreak, in which Trump repeatedly played down the seriousness of the threat and resisted safety steps.
“When you have leadership ... denying that something is as serious as it is, then you have a real problem. So, in that respect, it could have gone differently,” he said.