During an extended interview with CBS’ Leslie Stahl, Dr. Anthony Fauci reportedly got very emotional. During the 60 Minutes interview, Fauci disclosed the little-known fact he was a childhood TV personality during the 1950s and early 60s.
His breakdown happened after Stahl had asked Fauci about his early television appearances as novelty character Topo Gigio on The Ed Sullivan Show.
“My pop lost his job at the factory and times got tough there for a while.” Fauci, with his voice cracking told the sympathetic Stahl, who appeared to get emotional as well.
“I didn’t want to do it. I thought it was very demeaning. Even in that day and age!” He added, with some obvious anger mixed with his sadness. It was at that point, Fauci ordered the cameras to stop rolling, taking out a polka-dot handkerchief and covering his face as Stahl sadly looked on. Just after a full minute had passed, Fauci used his hanky to blow his nose and the honk sound he made seemed to revive him.
“Ok, let’s get back to it!” asserted the good doctor with a renewed vigor.
“Are you sure you’re ok?” Stahl asked him in a motherly tone.
“I’m just fine!” Snapped Dr. Fauci.
As the interview progressed, Stahl was reprimanded once more by Fauci after mistakenly assuming Fauci felt badly for family members that had made special appearances with him on the show, but the doctor soon set her straight. “I was the only one with any talent for christ’s sakes! The rest of ‘em were just hanging from my coattails!”
After CBS tried to reach out to those family members and discovered that sadly, they have all passed away.
60 Minutes has yet to air the extended segments and declined to comment on when they might be available.