Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Michael Reynolds/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Washington Post obtained 866 pages of Anthony Fauci's emails from March and April 2020 via the Freedom of Information Act, revealing what it was like for the government's top infectious-disease expert to navigate the chaotic early weeks of the pandemic under the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Fauci has been one of the most prominent public faces of the U.S. government's coronavirus response, opening him up to both widespread admiration and criticism. U.S. officials were eventually forced to assign Fauci a full-time security detail.

The big picture: Fauci told the Post that he would receive approximately 1,000 emails a day from colleagues, politicians, medical workers, foreign governments and strangers.

  • "I was getting every single kind of question, mostly people who were a little bit confused about the mixed messages that were coming out of the White House and wanted to know what’s the real scoop," Fauci said.
Highlights

George Gao, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, emailed Fauci on March 28, shortly after Science magazine quoted Gao saying that the U.S. was making a "big mistake" by not recommending that people wear masks.

  • "I saw the Science interview, how could I say such a word ‘big mistake’ about others? That was journalist’s wording. Hope you understand ... Let's work together to get the virus out of the earth," Gao said.
  • "Thanks for the note, I understand completely. No problem. We will get through this together," Fauci responded.

In another email on April 8, Gao expressed concern about Fauci's well-being: "I saw some news (hope it is fake) that [you] are being attacked by some people. Hope you are well under such [an] irrational situation."

  • "Thank you for your kind note. All is well despite some crazy people in this world," Fauci emailed back.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) emailed Fauci explaining why some of his Republican colleagues were trying to block money for the U.S. pandemic response. He then told Fauci to "keep being a science truth teller," at a time when Republican lawmakers and former President Trump were skeptical about the threat of the coronavirus.

  • "Thanks, Fred. I appreciate your note," Fauci responded a few hours later.

An antiterrorism and insider threat officer in the Office of the Surgeon General in the Army, whose name was redacted, asked Fauci a series of clarifying questions on the virus on April 14, and called the infectious disease expert "the voice of reason for millions of concerned citizens."

  • The officer also asked Fauci a personal question: "[W]hat keeps you up at night, regarding COVID-19?"
  • "I have said in the past that what keeps me up at night is the possibility of a pandemic respiratory infection. We are in that now, and what keeps me up at night is the response, a major part of which is the development of an effective vaccine and treatments for COVID-19," Fauci wrote back.

When he was informed a White House press briefing was canceled on April 21, Fauci responded: "Yikes………. That would make 4 days in a row without a Press Conference for me" — before adding a pair of smiling emojis.

  • Fauci frequently clashed with former President Trump, whose misinformation he was forced to publicly contradict. Fauci was eventually sidelined and rarely spoke to Trump toward the end of the administration.

Fauci was amazed by the public fascination with his persona. He received a Google News alert for his name, with one article titled "'Cuomo Crush' and 'Fauci Fever' — Sexualization of These Men Is a Real Thing on the Internet." He then forwarded that email to someone, telling them to click on that article: "It will blow your mind. Our society is totally nuts."

  • A colleague emailed him an article with the headline, "Fauci socks, Fauci doughnuts, Fauci fan art: The coronavirus expert attracts a cult following."
  • Fauci replied to that email: "Truly surrealistic. Hopefully, this all stops soon."

Go deeper: Read more emails published by the Post

Go deeper

21 hours ago - Health

South leads surge of hospitalizations

AdventHealth hospital in Orlando is seen on the day that hospital officials reported they were elevating to level red with a full ICU and more than 1,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Coronavirus hospitalizations in the South are once again surging — in some cases to levels near or above their previous records.

Why it matters: Overwhelmed hospitals, especially paired with staffing shortages, cause whole communities to suffer.

Updated 3 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Katie Ledecky in Tokyo. Photo: Ding Xu/Xinhua via Getty Images

🚨: Simone Biles won't compete in individual vault or uneven bars

🏊‍♀️: Katie Ledecky wins gold in women's 800m freestyle

🏊: Caeleb Dressel breaks world record in men's 100m butterfly, 3rd gold

🇬🇧: Britain wins gold in first-ever Olympic mixed 4x100m medley relay

🎾: Novak Djokovic defeated in Olympic semi-finals

💻: Japan tests teleporting games and "remote cheering"

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Updated 4 hours ago - Sports

Simone Biles won't compete in individual vault or uneven bars Olympic finals

Photo: Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images

Simone Biles will not compete in the individual vault or uneven bars finals at the Tokyo Olympics, USA Gymnastics announced Friday.

Why it matters: USA Gymnastics said Biles, who previously withdrew from the individual all-around and team finals to prioritize her mental health, will continue to be evaluated to determine if she'll compete in the balance beam or floor exercise events.