Speaking with NPR’s Fresh Air host Terry Gross last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci revealed he spent a lot of time in gay bathhouses and bars in the 1980s in order to “see what was going on” at the height of the AIDS pandemic.
Describing his adventures at the New York and San Francisco clubs, Fauci reminisced, “This was the very, very early years of the outbreak. We were seeing these large numbers of mostly gay men who were formerly otherwise well, who were being devastated by this terrible, mysterious disease. And it was so concentrated in the gay community that I really wanted to get a feel for what was going on there that would lead to this explosion of a sexually transmitted disease.”
“I went to the Castro District. I went down to Greenwich Village, and I went into bathhouses to essentially see what was going on,” he explained, adding, “I took my suit and tie off.”
What he saw firsthand at the gay gatherings concerned the young doctor.
“The epidemiologist in me went, ‘Oh, my goodness, this is a perfect setup for an explosion of a sexually transmitted disease,’” Fauci said. “And the same thing going to the gay bars and seeing what was going on, and it gave me a great insight into the explosiveness of the outbreak of a sexually transmitted disease. It gave me a really on-the-ground feel for what was actually, dynamically going on.”
Hear the full interview below:
Dr. Fauci was highly criticized throughout the 80s for not doing enough to stop the spread of the AIDS pandemic.
NPR host Terry Gross recalled, “During the period when activists were really angry at you and there were protests and there were signs saying f**k Fauci and I think you burned in an effigy and there was an image with your head on a spike.”
After Gross asked if the threats made by protesters in the 80s were as serious as threats he receives now, Fauci said the activists back then “were justified in their concerns” and were “very iconoclastic.”
“They seemed like they were threatening, but never for a single moment did I ever feel myself threatened by the AIDS activists,” he noted.
“Not only were they not threatening at all in a violent way,” Fauci claimed despite Gross previously describing an image of his head on a spike and an effigy being burnt. “Ultimately they were on the right side of history.”
While Fauci has studied HIV/AIDS since the 80s, it is interesting that the COVID-19 virus has unique cell identification and membrane binding proteins located in the HIV genome, suggesting the 2019-nCov is a laboratory-made chimera, according to Indian researchers who pulled their data after being pressured by China.
In fact, some COVID-19 vaccinations are leading patients to test positive for HIV.
Australia suspended the development of a domestically-made coronavirus vaccine after “false-positives” for HIV were found in participants in clinical trials.