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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

Go deeper

Hill votes will make global waves

President Biden addresses the UN General Assembly on Sept. 21, 2021 in New York City. Photo: Eduardo Munoz-Pool/Getty Images)

This epic week for President Biden on Capitol Hill is even bigger than his domestic agenda.

Why it matters: Biden has anchored his entire strategy for foreign affairs on the notion that "America is back." What that means in practice is that Biden needs to prove democracy works to rally America’s liberal allies against rising authoritarians.

3 hours ago - World

German election: Exit polls show close race to succeed Angela Merkel

SPD leader Olaf Scholz. Photo: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BERLIN — The first exit poll from Sunday's German elections showed the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) in a dead heat at 25%, leaving the race to succeed Angela Merkel too close to call.

The state of play: A second exit poll showed the SPD narrowly ahead. That's the one televisions displayed at SPD headquarters in Berlin, where the room erupted into cheers. Official results will roll in throughout the evening.

Abbott says he'll hire Border Patrol agents on horseback if they're fired

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Sunday defended the actions of U.S. Border Patrol agents who charged at Haitian migrants on horseback, blaming the Biden administration for not preventing them from crossing the border.

Why it matters: Abbott's remark on "Fox News Sunday" comes amid increased backlash over the incident, with President Biden saying, "I promise... those people will pay,” and the Department of Homeland Security launching an investigation.