Recently declassified emails reveal a close correspondence between a top Chinese health official and Dr. Anthony Fauci during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Washington Post obtained these emails from March and April 2020 through the Freedom of Information Act.
Chinese health official Gregory Gao was quoted in Science magazine on March 27, 2020, as saying that the United States and other nations were making a “big mistake” by not telling people to mask up in March.
He was worried that the comment might upset Fauci, his “longtime friend,” according to The Post, and so he sent a letter to the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“I saw the Science interview, how could I say such a word ‘big mistake’ about others? That was journalist’s wording. Hope you understand,” Gao, the director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote to Fauci on March 28, 2020.
“Lets work together to get the virus out of the earth.”
Fauci responded, “I understand completely. No problem.”
“We will get through this together,” he added.
This exchange was just one of among 866 pages of emails obtained by The Post.
Another exchange between the two friends showed that Fauci and Gao went out of their way to maintain ties to each other despite growing tensions between their two countries.
Gao emailed Fauci to say he heard that Fauci had faced threats from people who blamed him for closed schools and the state of the economy and viewed him as a threat to then-President Donald Trump’s re-election prospects.
“I saw some news (hope it is fake) that [you] are being attacked by some people,” Gao wrote on April 8.
“Hope you are well under such a irrational situation.”
Fauci thanked the member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences for his “kind note.”
“All is well despite some crazy people in this world,” Fauci replied.
The emails show that Fauci had received about 1,000 messages a day at one point from colleagues, hospital administrators, foreign governments and random 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 in a recent interview with The Post.
“I have a reputation that I respond to people when they ask for help, even if it takes a long time. And it’s very time consuming, but I do [respond].”
The NFL Players Association medical director asked Fauci how to safely start the next NFL season, a documentary filmmaker asked to ride along with Fauci as he drove to work and a senior House Republican encouraged Fauci to “keep being a science truth teller” in the face of skepticism about the virus.