(NEXSTAR) – More than 800 pages of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s emails from the first few months of the pandemic have revealed America’s Chief Medical Advisor to be responsive, concerned, and utterly confused by his celebrity-like status.
The 866 pages of emails, which were obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, were sent between March and April 2020. The majority of the correspondences were “deadly serious,” The Post reported, but Fauci also addressed his unease with his cult-like following — and even his status as an alleged sex symbol — at least a few times.
“Truly surrealistic. Hopefully, this all stops soon,” wrote Fauci in an email to a colleague, in which he shared a link to a Washington Post story about Fauci-themed fan art, clothing and doughnuts. “It is not at all pleasant, that is for sure.”
In another email, Fauci responded to seeing a separate article documenting the reported “sexualization” of himself and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“It will blow your mind,” he told the email’s recipient. “Our society is really totally nuts.”
But Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was more than just concerned about “Fauci Fever.” The emails show he was always in “close correspondence” with the White House, and even replied to emails “well after midnight,” according to The Washington Post.
Republican U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.) once emailed to ask whether hydroxychloroquine — which President Trump had been a proponent of, before research indicated it was potentially more harmful to COVID-19 patients — was of any real benefit in preventing infection. In a later email, after Fauci responded that hydroxychloroquine would likely not prevent infection, Rep. Upton told Fauci to “keep being a science truth teller.”
Others who reached out to Fauci included colleagues from the National Institutes for Health, representatives from hospital systems, a documentary filmmaker with Disney, and even the medical director for the NFL’s Players Association, who wanted Fauci’s advice on resuming games. An executive for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Fauci and Gates speak every few weeks, according to the Washington Post) also reached out to express concern for Fauci’s health amid daily press conferences with the Coronavirus Task Force.
In those earlier months, Fauci also stayed in contact with George Gao, the director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In one email, Gao had remarked on some of the backlash to Fauci’s guidance and social-distancing recommendations, largely from those who felt his advice would hinder efforts to return the country to normalcy.
“Hope you are well under such a irrational situation,” wrote Gao.
“Thank you for your kind note,” Fauci replied, the Washington Post reported. “All is well despite some crazy people in this world.”