ABC Manipulates Video of Fauci Defending Trump, Insists He Killed People

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During Monday’s coronavirus press conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci rebuked the media for pouncing on an out of context quote pulled from an interview he gave to CNN the previous day. The liberal media had been using the quote to suggest President Trump was responsible for the deaths of over 20,000 Americans due to alleged inaction. ABC’s World News Tonight manipulated the video of Fauci’s defense of the President to leave out key details, and insinuated that he was pressured by the President.

As he was speculating about him being in hot water with the President because of the CNN interview, ABC senior national correspondent Terry Moran lied about Fauci blaming Trump for the deaths. “This, on the same day Fauci declared, in an interview on CNN, that the administration’s reluctance to call for shutdowns and strong social distancing measures sooner has cost more American lives in the pandemic.”

That’s not what he said and ABC manipulated that video too, see the transcript below where it says “transition.”

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When it came to sharing Fauci’s clarification, Moran edited out the part where he scolded those trying to exploit it. “That was taken as a way that maybe somehow something was at fault here,” Fauci said as he was beginning to explain his experience with advising the President. And he hit on that point again as he was wrapping up: “But clearly, as happens all of the time, there were interpretations of that response to a hypothetical question that I just thought it would be very nice for me to clarify because I didn’t have the chance to clarify.”

Instead, Moran aired these manipulated soundbites and edited out Fauci admitting that “pushback” was too strong of a word to describe the discussions that went on (click “expand”):

 

 

FAUCI: I was asked a hypothetical question, and hypothetical questions sometimes can get you into some difficulty. [Transition] The nature of the hypothetical question was: “if, in fact, we had mitigated earlier, could lives have been saved?” And the answer to my question was, as I always do, and I am doing right now, perfectly honestly say, “yes.” I mean, obviously.

MORAN: But Fauci went on to say that when he and Dr. Birx went to the President with their recommendations, Trump listened.

FAUCI: The first and only time that Dr. Birx and I went in and formally made a recommendation to the President [Transition] the President listened to the recommendation [Transition] And went to the mitigation. The next, second time that I went with Dr. Birx into the President and said 15 days are not enough, we need to go 30 days.

At one point in the briefing, Trump played a video for reporters that showed the timeline of events and what the administration had done to mitigate the spread. But following the pre-recorded portion of the segment, ABC anchor David Muir dismissed it as stuff “he says he has done.” On that topic, Moran tried to discredit the video as just “a slickly produced campaign-style video.”

But Muir did tout the dubious New York Times report claiming Trump wasn’t listening to experts and didn’t attempt anything to keep the virus from spreading. Moran then declared that a “majority of Americans, polls show, that the President was late, that he operated slowly, that a lot of his happy talk and downplaying of the virus cost lives. That is essentially what Dr. Fauci had claimed on CNN.”

Moran never explained what mystery numbers he was citing or who conducted the poll. And his premise was ridiculous. Polls were not used to determine what’s true and what’s false. Facts are facts and polls are measures of opinion.

Speaking of the truth, throughout Muir’s opening tease and intro into the segment, he repeatedly insinuated that the only reason Fauci was defending the President was that Trump was looming over his shoulder. CBS White House correspondent Paula Reid tried the same nonsense at the briefing and the doctor told her off. “Everything I do is voluntarily, please. Don’t even imply that,” he scolded.

The transcripts are below, click “expand” to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
April 13, 2020
6:41:47 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: And as I mentioned at the top, amid all of this, the President said just a short time ago that he was thinking about the families in the tornado zone. But he then went on to defend his decision making in the pandemic, his administration’s reaction to the virus. And Dr. Anthony Fauci at the podium moments ago as well, explaining an answer to a question he gave yesterday saying, that earlier mitigation would have saved lives. Addressing that answer again a short time ago with the President standing right beside him. Here’s Terry Moran.

[Cuts to video]

TERRY MORAN: It was an ominous sign. President Trump retweeting last night an attack on Dr. Anthony Fauci. The original tweet including the hashtag, “Time to #FireFauci.”

This, on the same day Fauci declared, in an interview on CNN, that the administration’s reluctance to call for shutdowns and strong social distancing measures sooner has cost more American lives in the pandemic.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives. Obviously, no one is going to deny that. [Transition] But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then.

MORAN: And here’s what Fauci said just moments ago –

FAUCI: I was asked a hypothetical question, and hypothetical questions sometimes can get you into some difficulty. [Transition] The nature of the hypothetical question was: “if, in fact, we had mitigated earlier, could lives have been saved?” And the answer to my question was, as I always do, and I am doing right now, perfectly honestly say, “yes.” I mean, obviously.

MORAN: But Fauci went on to say that when he and Dr. Birx went to the President with their recommendations, Trump listened.

FAUCI: The first and only time that Dr. Birx and I went in and formally made a recommendation to the President [Transition] the President listened to the recommendation [Transition] And went to the mitigation. The next, second time that I went with Dr. Birx into the President and said 15 days are not enough, we need to go 30 days.

[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: Dr. Fauci, just a short time ago. Terry Moran, with us tonight. We know the President then speaking right after Dr. Fauci. Essentially defending his decision making amid reporting from The New York Times and other outlets of early warning signs potentially missing, internal emails, notes that ended up in the presidential daily brief warning about what the virus would turn into. And Terry, he even had a video produced showing what he says he has done during this pandemic.

MORAN: He sure did, David. It was a remarkable moment, showing how the briefings have been transformed almost into mini-Trump rallies. A slickly produced campaign-style video trying to counter the argument and assessment, now shared by a majority of Americans polls show, that the President was late, that he operated slowly, that a lot of his happy talk and downplaying of the virus cost lives. That is essentially what Dr. Fauci had claimed on CNN.

But as for Fauci, the President made clear, he said, “I’m not going to fire him. He’s a wonderful guy.” He did add, however, that everything he’s done is right. David.

MUIR: Terry Moran, with us tonight. Terry, thank you.

 

CNN’s The Situation Room
April 13, 2020
5:53:29 p.m. Eastern

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: The other point I wanted to make is that I had an interview yesterday, that I was asked a hypothetical questions. And hypothetical questions sometimes can get you into some difficulty because it was what would have or could have. The nature of the hypothetical question was, “if, in fact, we had mitigated earlier was could live have save been saved?” And the answer to my question was, as I always do, and I am doing right now, perfectly honestly say, “Yes.”

I mean, obviously, if the mitigation helps. I’ve been up here many times telling you that mitigation works. So, if mitigation works and you initiate it earlier, you will probably have saved more lives. If you initiated it later, you probably would have lost more lives. You initiate at a certain time.

That was taken as a way that maybe somehow something was at fault here. So, let me tell you from my experience — and I can only speak for my own experience — Is that we had been talking before any meetings we had about the pros and cons, the effectiveness or not of strong mitigations. So, discussions were going on mostly among the medical people about what that would mean.

The first and only time that Dr. Birx and I went in and formally made a recommendation to the President to actually have a, quote, “shutdown” in the sense of not really shutdown, but to really have strong mitigation, we discussed it. Obviously, there would be concern by some that, in fact, might have some negative consequences. Nonetheless, the President listened to the recommendation and went to the mitigation.

The next, second time, that I went with Dr. Birx in to the President and said, “15 days are not enough, we need to go 30 days.” Obviously, there were people that had a problem with that because of the potential secondary effects. Nonetheless, at that time, the President went with the health recommendations and we extended it another 30 days.

So, I can only tell you what I know and what my recommendations were. But clearly, as happens all of the time, there were interpretations of that response to a hypothetical question that I just thought it would be very nice for me to clarify because I didn’t have the chance to clarify. Thank you.

(…)

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