It may surprise you, but President Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci have a few things in common: they’re both in their 70s, both hail from the outer boroughs of New York City, and their blunt personalities have both played a major role in their careers.



Anthony S. Fauci wearing a suit and tie: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci is reflected in a video monitor as he listens to the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, April 8 2020.


© Kevin Lamarque/Reuters, FILE
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci is reflected in a video monitor as he listens to the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, April 8 2020.

It was Fauci’s public role on Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force that placed him squarely in front of the worst pandemic the United States has seen in generations. For some, Fauci became a pop icon and a force for truth and science in the face of disinformation. For others, he is unreliable; a political schemer seeking to undermine Trump and spread fear about COVID-19.

Journalist Michael Specter examines Fauci’s career and the challenges of facing COVID-19 with Trump’s White House in his new audiobook “Fauci,” the first biography to be published on the doctor. Specter writes that he first met Fauci in 1986. Even then, Fauci was a mainstay in both the political and medical communities. He has since served with every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan.



Anthony S. Fauci wearing a suit and tie: Michael Specter's audiobook "Fauci."


© Pushkin Industries
Michael Specter’s audiobook “Fauci.”


MORE: Fauci at odds with Trump: Downplaying virus threat ‘not a good thing,’ no ‘normal’ until at least mid-2021

Fauci is now 79 years old and has run the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for 36 years. Aside from this year’s pandemic, he also led the efforts against the HIV/AIDS epidemic; the SARS, bird and swine flu outbreaks; and the Zika and Ebola virus outbreaks.

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It has been entirely another beast to bridge the worlds of medical research