The White House put out a statement to the Washington Post listing several mistakes by Dr. Anthony Fauci about the COVID-19 Chinese coronavirus pandemic. While the White House did not characterize Fauci’s mistakes as “deadly”, Fauci’s mistakes clearly cost American lives as the public and the government heeded his advice early on that downplayed the seriousness of the virus that has since killed nearly 140,000 Americans this year. Democrats rushed to defend Fauci.
The Post article is about the deteriorating relationship between the career bureaucrat Fauci (who cannot be fired by the President) and the Trump administration. The article states Fauci has not spoken with President Trump since the first week of June and no longer briefs him. The Post also reported the administration is limiting Fauci’s TV interviews.
For months, Anthony S. Fauci has played a lead role in America’s coronavirus pandemic, as a diminutive, Brooklyn-accented narrator who has assessed the risk and issued increasingly blunt warnings as the nation’s response has gone badly awry.
But as the Trump administration has strayed from the advice of many of its scientists and public health experts, the White House has moved to sideline Fauci, scuttled some of his planned TV appearances and largely kept him out of the Oval Office for more than a month even as coronavirus infections surge in large swaths of the country.
In recent days, the 79-year-old scientist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has found himself directly in the president’s crosshairs. During a Fox News interview Thursday with Sean Hannity, Trump said Fauci “is a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes.” And when Greta Van Susteren asked him last week about Fauci’s assessment that the country was not in a good place, Trump said flatly: “I disagree with him.”
Fauci no longer briefs Trump and is “never in the Oval [Office] anymore,” said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Fauci last spoke to the president during the first week of June, according to a person with knowledge of Trump’s calendar.
…A White House official released a statement saying that “several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things” and included a lengthy list of the scientist’s comments from early in the outbreak. Those included his early doubt that people with no symptoms could play a significant role in spreading the virus — a notion based on earlier outbreaks that the novel coronavirus would turn on its head. They also point to public reassurances Fauci made in late February, around the time of the first U.S. case of community transmission, that “at this moment, there is no need to change anything that you’re doing on a day-by-day basis.”
The Post did not publish the White House list of Fauci’s mistakes, but included a defense of Fauci:
Fauci’s supporters acknowledge those early mistakes, attributing them to the challenges posed by a new, largely unknown pathogen. They agree he downplayed the possibility of the virus spreading from person to person in January and early February even as it quietly seeded itself in communities on the East and West coasts. And, like several other public health officials, he initially said the public shouldn’t wear masks, but now strongly recommends it, especially when individuals can’t maintain distances of at least six feet from other people.
Fauci has said he was worried early in the outbreak about a shortage of masks and wanted to reserve them for health care workers. And he has said from the start that scientists’ knowledge of a brand new virus would evolve and recommendations could change based on new information.
White House seeks to discredit Fauci amid coronavirus surge–Many of the past statements the White House is criticizing Fauci for are ones that were based on the best available data at the time and were widely echoed by Trump and other officials.
The White House is seeking to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, as President Donald Trump works to marginalize him and his dire warnings about the shortcomings in the U.S. coronavirus response.