ABC Reporter Told Fauci She Wouldn’t ‘Jeopardize’ Him, Emails Show

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
June 3, 2021 Updated: June 4, 2021

A reporter for ABC News told Dr. Anthony Fauci last year that she would do nothing that would “jeopardize” him, according to newly released emails.

“l know you are in a unique situation and I want you to know that I respect that and would never put you in a situation with my correspondence that would jeopardize you in anyway,” Kyra Phillips, the reporter, wrote to Fauci on Feb. 27, 2020 [page 230].

Fauci responded the next day by thanking Phillips.

The emails were obtained by BuzzFeed News through a Freedom of Information Act request.

ABC News and Phillips did not respond to requests for comment.

Other members of the media also wrote to Fauci, the longtime head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

David Bradley, the chairman of Atlantic Media, which owns The Atlantic, alerted the doctor to his media’s coverage of him as a “heartthrob.”

“I am only one of your millions of followers who feel in your debt. But, I am the only one with a magazine that has dedicated a whole article to ‘the thirst for Tony Fauci,'” Bradley wrote [pages 1506 and 1507].

The article was focused on how some Americans had supposedly fallen in love with Fauci.

Bradley didn’t return an inquiry.

Fauci forwarded the email to a person whose name was redacted, telling the person: “David Bradley is the Chairman of The Atlantic. Geeez ….” To Bradley, he wrote, “Many thanks for sending this. I could not have even begun to make this up ….. Please stay safe and well.”

In another case, New York Times reporter Sheila Kaplan complained to staffers at the National Institutes of Health in the wake of a rejected request to speak with Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the agency.

“Why were we told we could not do an interview, when, after our request, he did one with The Atlantic. You referred us to Dr. Fauci but he isn’t talking, either. This doesn’t seem fair to us. Can we really not speak to either of them for a story this weekend?” Kaplan wrote [pages 1997 to 2002].

Forwarded the message, Fauci said he did not recall getting a request from the reporter.

“I am completely swamped and so it may have just gotten buried in a pile and I did not see it. I apologize. I am mostly locked into the White House where we must give up our phones and so it makes it very difficult for me to return calls. I talk to Francis all the time and he is very well versed in these issues. He will do a fine job of providing you with the information you need. If you would still like to speak with me later on, we can try to make that work. Again, I am sorry if you felt snubbed,” Fauci wrote.

Collins later informed Fauci that he spoke to Kaplan, who “greatly appreciated your message of apology.”

Kaplan did not immediately return a request for comment.

Then-New York Times reporter Donald McNeil Jr. wrote to Fauci one day in February 2020 to muse about the differences between Chinese people and Americans.

“The truth is that a lot of average Chinese behaved incredibly heroically in the face of the virus,” he said. In contrast, “in America, people tend to act like selfish pigs interested only in saving themselves,” he claimed [pages 346 to 347].

McNeil told The Epoch Times via email that he stands by every word he wrote. He referenced how some Americans wanted evacuated cruise ship passengers kept out of the country and how some people were hoarding masks, gloves, and other items.

The reporter, who was pushed out earlier this year, also told Fauci that he was buying a bobblehead of the doctor. That bobblehead was a gift to his girlfriend, he said.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.