Fauci says Brooklyn roots helped him overcome Washington opposition

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Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks via Zoom to Borough President Eric Adams and fellow COVID Heroes honorees outside Borough Hall on Nov. 10.
Kevin Duggan

The nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that his Brooklyn roots helped him overcome obstruction from White House officials while navigating the COVID-19 crisis.

The prominent epidemiologist was honored as a Brooklyn COVID Hero by Borough President Eric Adams at a Nov. 10 ceremony and Fauci said his native Kings County was fundamental to his work on the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

“Whenever people ask me how I put up with all this stuff that goes on in Washington, I have two words for them: it’s called ‘Brooklyn strong,’” Fauci said via virtual broadcast on the steps of Borough Hall.

The beep honored Fauci for persevering through adversity and mixed messaging that came from the Donald Trump administration during the pandemic, and said his clear voice of reason calmed a country on edge.

“Dr. Fauci clearly showed the best qualities of Brooklynites. Being tough, tenacious and dogmatic and standing up for what is right in his determination to do what is needed and what must be done despite opposition,” Adams said. “This is one president that truly loves you, Brooklyn Borough President, where it matters, Anthony Fauci will be celebrated in all of Brooklyn.”

The senior doc was one of dozens of Brooklynites Adams honored for going above and beyond during the health crisis, as part of his second “Brooklyn COVID Heroes” event celebrating borough do-gooders.

A Bensonhurst native, Fauci grew up in Dyker Heights and said he was a “Brooklynite through and through,” adding that he was in good company with his fellow honorees.

“I am particularly proud and happy to be joined by the other Brooklyn heroes who are standing behind you on the steps,” he said.

Fauci praised the borough for stemming the spread, adding a hopeful note amid the recent news that pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and BioNTech have created a vaccine that was more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

“The vaccine is on its way folks, so hang in there, hang tough, we’re going to get over this together,” he said.

This article first appeared on our sister site, brooklynpaper.com