Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony FauciReuters

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) who is leaving his post at the end of the year, said in an interview with CNN that he could not be “complicit” with former President Donald Trump about the misinformation he spread during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fauci told Chris Wallace in the interview, that will air in full on Sunday, that Trump clearly was making statements throughout the pandemic that were not based on scientific fact and data. He also said that while he was uncomfortable with having to publicly stand up and disagree with the President, he had to do it.

“I have such a great deal of respect for the office of the presidency that it just made me very uncomfortable, but I had to do it, Chris, because I couldn’t stand there and be complicit in saying hydroxychloroquine works when it doesn’t, you know, bleach works. It doesn’t. The virus is going to go away like magic. It’s not,” said Fauci.

Fauci acknowledged he created a “growing enmity” from Trump and his allies for disagreeing with him, which he said he did not desire.

“But in order to maintain my own scientific and personal integrity, and most importantly, fulfill my responsibility to the American public, I had to do that,” he told Wallace.

Trump reportedly at one point considered demoting the top doctor after he criticized his policies.

In October of 2020, Trump was heard criticizing Fauci in a call with campaign staffers, suggesting he was an "idiot" and saying, "He's been here for, like, 500 years.”

More recently, however, Fauci praised Trump after he said during a speaking tour that he had received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.