In 2014, Anthony Fauci hugs Nina Pham, a nurse who was infected with Ebola by treating a patient. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has maintained his position through six administrations by emphasizing facts and candor in his conversations with politicians, the New Yorker's Michael Specter reports.

Why it matters: "Americans have come to rely on Fauci’s authoritative presence," Specter writes. "Perhaps not since the Vietnam era, when Walter Cronkite, the avuncular anchor of the 'CBS Evening News,' was routinely described as the most trusted man in America, has the country depended so completely on one person to deliver a daily dose of plain talk."

Details: Specter, who has known Fauci since the HIV/AIDS epidemic exploded in the mid-'80s, writes that Fauci told him the following in 2016:

“You stay completely apolitical and non-ideological, and you stick to what it is that you do. I’m a scientist and I’m a physician. And that’s it.”
“Some wise person who used to be in the White House, in the Nixon Administration, told me a very interesting dictum to live by. He said, ‘When you go into the White House, you should be prepared that that is the last time you will ever go in. Because if you go in saying, I’m going to tell somebody something they want to hear, then you’ve shot yourself in the foot.’ Now everybody knows I’m going to tell them exactly what’s the truth.”

The bottom line: When dealing with politicians, Fauci told Specter that he relies on the familiar pseudo-Latin expression Illegitimi non carborundum, or: "Don’t let the bastards grind you down."

Go deeper: The right and left internet loves Anthony Fauci

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Supreme Court denies Pennsylvania GOP request to limit mail-in voting

Protesters outside Supreme Court. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from Pennsylvania's Republican Party to shorten the deadlines for mail-in ballots in the state. Thanks to the court's 4-4 deadlock, ballots can be counted for several days after Election Day.

Why it matters: It's a major win for Democrats that could decide the fate of thousands of ballots in a crucial swing state that President Trump won in 2016. The court's decision may signal how it would deal with similar election-related litigation in other states.

Microphones will be muted during parts of Thursday's presidential debate

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates adopted new rules on Monday to mute microphones to allow President Trump and Joe Biden two minutes of uninterrupted time per segment during Thursday night's debate, AP reports.

Why it matters: In the September debate, Trump interrupted Biden 71 times, compared with Biden's 22 interruptions of Trump.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump says if Biden's elected, "he'll listen to the scientists"Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  4. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  5. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  6. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  7. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.