Considering that the journalists at MSNBC consider Democrats the party of science and Republicans the party of collecting magic beans, it’s not surprising that Rachel Maddow on Friday tried to spin life for Anthony Fauci under Trump as a nightmare. She lamented the “tough” times he endured under the previous president. (But the vaccine was developed under which president?) Maddow offered fealty to Fauci by expressing her “faith” in the “career scientists at the NIH and the CDC.”
Throughout the interview, Maddow tried to get Fauci to bash Trump by asking him about the “struggle” between government scientists and the administration. Fauci obliged by claiming that there was a “real affront on science.” Maddow sympathized with him by proclaiming that “it’s chilling” that the Trump administration at times disagreed with Fauci.
In the most ridiculous portion of the interview, the back rubbing and Trump bashing reached its peak when Fauci alleged that the administration kept him from coming on Maddow’s show and gushed about how great the show is. Maddow replied by sympathizing about the “tough situations” that Fauci had been in due to Trump:
Now that Joe Biden is president, MSNBC has happily embraced its role as state run media.
Of course, as such a sycophant for the state, Maddow did not question Fauci about him admitting that he lied to the American public about herd immunity and that he has flipped flopped on many issues such as wearing masks.
Maddow continued to praise Fauci, praising both him and the government “career scientists”:
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The Rachel Maddow Show
RACHEL MADDOW: And can I show you a thing right off the top, point of personal privilege. Look. That’s my mom on the right and that’s her sister, my aunt, on the left. That’s the two of them getting vaccinated tonight. My mom is 79. My aunt is 82. I can barely keep it together. My dad is due for his vaccination tomorrow. We feel very lucky. The first people in our family, first people in our extended family, to get vaccinated. And tonight here for the first — for the interview, for the — for the first time during the coronavirus crisis is the man who at least on a personal level for my family made that possible. I mean, how many people do you know who said they would not get vaccinated against the coronavirus unless and until Dr. Fauci got vaccinated? Unless and until they heard from Dr. Fauci personally that it’s time, that it’s safe, that this is how we’re going to beat this thing. How crucial has the public’s trust in this one scientist been, since the start of this global and national nightmare? It is an unprecedented thing in American history. And Dr. Anthony Fauci joins us tonight for the interview. Dr. Fauci, I feel like we have a lot of catching up to do. I’ve been trying to get an interview with you here on the show since March. Now that there’s been some change at the top in Washington, it’s — it’s great to finally have you here, sir. It’s a real honor.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Thank you very much, Rachel. It’s about time. Don’t you think?
MADDOW: I am —
FAUCI: I’m really glad to be here with you.
MADDOW: Boy, do I. Let me start off by asking you just about how the new administration is starting over. The first couple of days we’ve had about 30 actions by the new president. Many of them on coronavirus. Everything from using the Defense Production Act more to try to meet supply shortfalls, to requiring people to quarantine when they come in from other countries, to setting up a new pre-clinical program to try to advance therapeutics. Lots and lots of direct individual actions by the President right off the bat. Are there any of them that you disagree with?
FAUCI: You know, Rachel, no, I don’t. I mean, this has been a very well-planned out — it’s the national strategy for COVID-19 and pandemic preparedness. It’s about a 101-page document. It’s very finely detailed. And one of the things that I found really very encouraging and gratifying in the meetings that I’ve had, you know, first before, just a few days before the actual inauguration, and then yesterday, for example, when I was with the President and the Vice President, the things that he said to us, myself and other members of the team in private, were just so encouraging. I mean, he said, let science speak. Let science be the thing that drives us. Let’s just be open and honest and transparent. We’re not going to get everything right. There will be some mistakes. There will be some missteps. The response to that is to fix it and not to point blame and point fingers. It was just — just an amazingly refreshing experience and conversation that we had, and he wasn’t doing it for show. This was, like, behind closed doors in the White House where he was just telling the team how he wanted this to go looking forward. That was, like, on the second day that their first day after the inauguration. So we have a plan. We have a lot of things that have already been implemented such as the executive orders that you mentioned. I mean, I, myself, one of the first things that he asked me to do was to represent him as the leader of the delegation to the World Health Organization executive board. I get up at 3:00 in the morning, to — to be the representative at 4:00 A.M., which was 10:00 A.M. Geneva time to do something that the rest of the world was really looking at. And that is, getting us back into the WHO, making sure we’re an important part of the collaboration, the cooperation and the solidarity that’s needed globally when you have a global pandemic. So we really hit the ground running.
MADDOW: Dr., I know how much — how much you know the American people have faith in you and have trusted you. I want to tell you that I have — I not only have faith and trust in you, I have faith in the career scientists throughout the NIH and the CDC and all the other gold standard research agencies that we are blessed with as a country. But, over the course of this year, I have also been a little freaked out at how the CDC in particular just got pushed around and not just behind-the-scenes pressure, it did affect their recommendations. And we know they’re now under review now that President Biden is there but I really feel like it never should have happened, and I’m uncomfortable with the solution to that being ,you know, just that we need to elect better people and hope the next president doesn’t do something like that. Can you help us understand at all how that — how that — how it happened seemingly so easily?
FAUCI: Yeah,I mean, it is such an unusual aberrant situation, Rachel, where you had at the very top and I — I, you know, I don’t take any great pleasure in criticizing presidential leadership or the people around the President, but we had a situation where science was distorted and or rejected and a lot of pressure was put on individuals and organizations to do things that were not directly related to what their best opinion would be, vis-a-vis the science. You know, I had pressure put on me but I resisted it and I had to do something that was not comfortable, but I did it, and I had to be directly contradicting not only the President but some of the people around the President who were saying things that just were not consistent with the science. I am not a political appointee, so, you know, this whole idea about you know, we’re going to fire him and nonsense, you know, that kind of stuff, I mean, I didn’t want to be at odds with the President because I have a lot of respect for the office of the presidency. But there was conflict at different levels with different people and different organizations and a lot of pressure being put on to do things that just are not compatible with the science. And I think the only way that happens is when you have leadership from the very top and people surrounding the leadership that essentially let that happen. It’s a real aberrancy — I — I’ve been — I’ve served now, this is my seventh administration, Rachel, and I’ve been advising administrations and presidents on both sides of the aisle, Republicans and Democrats, people with different ideologies, and even with differences in ideology, there never was this real affront on science. So it really was an aberrancy that I haven’t seen in the almost 40 years that I’ve been doing this. So it’s just one of those things that is — is chilling when you see it happen.
MADDOW: And it’s — it’s chilling, I’m sure it was even more chilling up close but from the outside it was terrifying because the existence of the pressure, however aberrant that is from previous administrations that you’ve seen, it was sort of par for the course in terms of the way this administration behaved on lots of issues. The thing that was very upsetting was that it worked and so I guess what I’m asking —
MADDOW: — the thing from the outside that we couldn’t see is how much of a fight was it? Was there — was there — was there pushback? Was there struggle? Were there people threatening to resign and taking a stand when the CDC was being told no you can’t say that about the safety of people engaging in congregate choir practice, telling the CDC change its recommendations on asymptomatic people who’d been exposed? Was — was there a fight?
FAUCI: You know, Rachel, I — I — you’re asking me to make judgment on people and I — I don’t really want to do that. I’m sorry. You know, I certainly fought back, and — and I’m still surviving. So maybe the reason that happened is because I’m not a political appointee. But, you know, people were influenced, unfortunately. And — but I got to tell you, at the same time that some might have been, a lot of people weren’t. There were a lot of people in the CDC and the FDA who are really suffering under that. You know, they’re — these are two organizations that are really, really good organizations and I think everybody needs to understand that, you know? They were saying, well, they may have lost faith in it. No. I mean, I have colleagues and dear friends in both organizations that I would stand next to them anytime of the year and they’re — they’re just really, really good. I really hope that the American people understand that. That those are really sound organizations.
MADDOW: And as I said, as I — and I preface this with my — my faith remains in the career scientists at the NIH and the CDC and I know people at both organizations and have for a long time preceding this. I was just — it’s been alarming to see their work corrupted and it’ll be an important thing under this administration to see them independent, back able to speak their mind, even when it disagrees — they may have disagreements with the political line from the administration. Two things that — well I’ll ask you about one at a time. One of the problems that we’ve had as our national response has been that there hasn’t been enough testing. There hasn’t been easy enough access to testing and that has waxed and waned over time but I think you can generally say that’s true. One of the things that was concerning watching from the outside was to hear, for example, the President argue that there shouldn’t be more testing, because that’s the way that you find more cases and so we don’t want to do more testing.
MADDOW: Is part of the reason that we haven’t had enough testing over the course of this year, that there was a deliberate effort to make sure that we didn’t do too much testing or was that — that we were trying to do much as we could and it was just a failure in terms of competence?
FAUCI: No. I think the testing situation, you know, we started off really with some stumbles, as you well know, when the first test that came out from the CDC had a real technical problem that set us behind the eight ball for a while. Tried to correct it. There was a difference of opinion, Rachel, about the testing of only those people who had symptoms versus people who did not have symptoms. Right from the very beginning, I had said we should flood the system with testing. We should make sure that people are tested even though they don’t have any symptoms because we know it can be spread with — by people who don’t have symptoms. There were a lot of people on the coronavirus task force who felt that way also. I mean, there were people like my colleagues Deborah Birx and others in the — in the coronavirus task force that felt very strongly we should expand the testing. It just, you know, it happened and at the end of the day, they’ll come back and say well, we’ve tested more than any country has ever tested. Well, that’s true, but the testing of people to determine on a broader level what the penetrance of infection was in the community and in the country was not done at the level that I and some others felt should be done and we should still be doing much more right now. We should have tests, Rachel, where someone could have a point of care test that they bring home, do themselves without a prescription, that’s sensitive and specific and can tell you with a really good degree of certainty whether you or your family or the people that you want to come into your home are infected. We’ve got to get those tests. We’re getting closer to tests that have the sensitivity and the specificity to do that, but we should have had that available a long time ago.
MADDOW: Dr. Fauci, should we expect to hear from — from you and from Dr. Messonnier and Dr. Schuchat and other senior scientists and senior supervisors of these agencies and on a regular basis? I know that the — as we’ve been talking, the country really trusts you in particular, but we’ve seen the sort of disappearance, the sort of muzzling of some of these other senior folks within the government. Do you think that we’ll have more access to you, both the press and the public?
FAUCI: I’m positive of it. Attest to this Rachel, I’ve been wanting to come on your show for months and months. You’ve been asking me to come on your show for months and months and it’s just gotten blocked. That — I mean, let’s — let’s call it what it is. It just got blocked because they didn’t like the way you handle things and they didn’t want me on here. I mean, it was so clear. When we sent it down, “Well, why would you want to go on Rachel Maddow’s show? Well, because I like her and she’s really good. “It doesn’t make any difference. Don’t do it.” I don’t think you’re going to see that now. I think you’re going to see a lot of transparency. You know, you might not see everybody as often as you want, but you’re not going to see deliberate holding back of good people when the press asks for them. I mean, we were assured that that’s the case. You know and that goes along with what you were mentioning before about different types of pressures that are put on. It — it — it was a tough situation. It really was.
MADDOW: Well, Dr. Fauci, a lot of people who got put in tough situations in this — in — in this administration I think the observation is well, maybe that person would be better off resigning, maybe that person would be better off quitting and protesting and telling us what happened. I don’t think anybody anywhere in the country ever felt like the right thing for you to do was quit and you staying there has been a real anchor for a lot of people through a really hard time. So, I’m sorry for what — for what you went through and I’m happy to see the spring in your step and the light in your eyes and to know that we get to talk to you and the country gets to hear from you from here on out.
FAUCI: Yeah, thank you very much, Rachel. Really a pleasure to be with you.
MADDOW: Alright, thank you. Dr. Anthony Fauci, of course, needs no — no introduction and no good night. The nation’s top infectious disease expert. You know, I — we have been asking for him, from March, repeatedly and he was never anything but kind. And the fact that he is willing to tell you and tell me, listen, I would love to do it and I was told from the White House that I couldn’t and here’s how they said it. That’s — that’s — that’s transparency. That’s the legitimate definition of transparency. And I would hope if anybody from the administration is watching this right now, don’t just pat yourself on the back for the fact Dr. Fauci is now allowed to come here and talk to me. I would hope and I expect that what this means, this new commitment to letting the science speak and letting the science — scientists do their own work, means that when Dr. Fauci gets calls to go on with Mr. Hannity or Mr. Carlson or some of the other even further-right networks and hosts who you — who disagree with you and who have been saying things about the coronavirus that you think are wrong, I hope that this transparency extends to letting the nation’s scientists go make their case, particularly to people who have been misinforming and telling the people of this country misinformation or politically motivated misinformation in particular on this thing. The scientists have to lead for all of us. That’s how we’re going to get out of this.
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