“I’ve been wanting to come on your show for months and months,” the nation’s top infectious disease expert and an authority on the coronavirus pandemic, told Maddow. “You’ve been asking me to come on your show for months and months, and it’s just gotten blocked.”

Fauci added: “Let’s call it what it is: It just got blocked because they didn’t like the way you handle things, and they didn’t want me on.”

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he told officials that he liked Maddow and that she was “really good,” but it didn’t “make any difference.”