ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Saturday morning was a beautiful spring day, but it was not like most of my weekend mornings.
Today I would be going to Ann Arbor to interview Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the president. We had a pretty tight window of time to complete the interview since he would be going immediately after to the Big House for the University of Michigan’s belated 2020 Keynote address.
We arrived early to set everything up, the chairs, the background, the lighting, the cameras, and of course my questions.
When he first came into the room, I was impressed to see that he was exactly who we have been watching in the news for the past 2+ years. I had interviewed him via zoom, slightly over one year ago, this was different.
When you meet someone in person you have a brief time to get to know them and get a sense of them. Dr. Fauci is a very generous, genuine, and thoughtful man.
While my photographer was powering up the multiple cameras to shoot the interview simultaneously we chatted about one of our mutual interests, fishing.
He told me he doesn’t have much time these days to go fishing. But in the past, he would fish the Potomac river for striper and even fly fish in Montana. I offered to take him out on my boat to get some spring walleye on the St. Clair River, but obviously, he was already busy with a prior engagement that day. Maybe if he’s ever in the area again he’ll take me up on it.
The interview itself went smoothly with one exception. I was trying to keep track of time with a timer that I had placed near the floor in my line of sight but out of the cameras view.
Unfortunately, about five minutes into the interview the phone powered down and I had no more timer. We were only supposed to go 15 minutes, but without a clock, I took 20. He was very gracious and no one said anything about my running over time.
One thing I want to digress on is this . . . I understand why some people might disagree with things he has said. I don’t happen to be one of them, but everyone is allowed their own perspective.
What I don’t understand, and I say this after having met him in person, is why there are so many deeply personal attacks against him. He is a genuinely kind, considerate, and wise person.
At the end of the day, academic disagreements are reasonable and important to our understanding of science, but personal attacks just don’t make sense, especially directed toward a man who is being helpful and informative. That’s my opinion.
Full interview: Dr. Anthony Fauci shares what he’s learned throughout the COVID pandemic