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.
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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.
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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.
NBC News reported on the White House list with a headline and sub-headline that defended Fauci. NBC News was given the list by the White House but like the Post did not publish the list.
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.
In a remarkable broadside by the Trump administration against one of its own, a White House official told NBC News on Sunday that “several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things.” To bolster the case, the official provided NBC News with a list of nearly a dozen past comments by Fauci earlier in the pandemic that the official said had ultimately proven erroneous.
Among them: Fauci’s comments in January that coronavirus was “not a major threat” and “not driven by asymptomatic carriers” and Fauci’s comment in March that “people should not be walking around with masks.”
…The list of past Fauci comments compiled by the White House, first reported by The Washington Post, includes Fauci saying in January— weeks before the first reported COVID-19 death in the U.S.— that the virus was “not a major threat for the people in the U.S.” A month later, it was Trump himself who told Americans that the virus would simply “disappear” like a “miracle.”
…Another member of the coronavirus task force, Admiral Brett Giroir, added to the Fauci pile-on today when he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Fauci has not always been correct.
“I respect Dr. Fauci a lot, but Dr. Fauci is not 100 percent right and he also doesn’t necessarily, he admits that, have the whole national interest in mind. He looks at it from a very narrow public health point of view,” Giroir said.
Democrats rushed to defend Fauci.
Davis Axelrod, “Tragic and utterly predictable. Fauci deserves great credit for hanging in there as long as he has despite fragging from WH. He is a true patriot.”
Tragic and utterly predictable.
Fauci deserves great credit for hanging in there as long as he has despite fragging from WH. He is a true patriot.https://t.co/1OpLveTJrh
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) July 12, 2020
Claire McCaskill, “Trump has muzzled the most trusted doctor and scientist in the country. Now they are sending out oppo on him to try and make him look bad. Outrageous. No wonder we lead the world in Covid cases and deaths. And the virus rages on.”
Trump has muzzled the most trusted doctor and scientist in the country. Now they are sending out oppo on him to try and make him look bad. Outrageous. No wonder we lead the world in Covid cases and deaths. And the virus rages on. https://t.co/aHIpMs2VOI
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) July 12, 2020
House Democrats, “You’d think they’d have more important things to do”
You’d think they’d have more important things to dohttps://t.co/z6O1l3cDq5
— House Homeland Security Committee (@HomelandDems) July 12, 2020
CNN’s Jim Sciutto, “Predictably, the knives are out for Dr. Fauci, a supremely qualified expert on outbreaks whose sin seems to be speaking truth to power and consistently outshining the president in trustworthiness.”
Predictably, the knives are out for Dr. Fauci, a supremely qualified expert on outbreaks whose sin seems to be speaking truth to power and consistently outshining the president in trustworthiness. https://t.co/wmXsOfrsUw
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) July 12, 2020
Rosie O’Donnell, “free fauci from Donalds wrath”
free fauci from Donalds wrath https://t.co/LytvrlCUOD
— ROSIE (@Rosie) July 12, 2020
Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau, “The White House orchestrating a hit job on one of the country’s most respected public health officials in the middle of a pandemic isn’t just dangerous and repugnant – it’s one of the politically stupider moves they’ve made in a long time…I’ve seen multiple focus groups now where swing voters will specifically mention Trump’s tendency to put his own ego over the advice of public health experts as a reason they’re not voting for him this time…Shivving someone as trusted and beloved by the public as Fauci will now serve as one of the more glaring, memorable examples of Trump’s catastrophic response to the pandemic, and it’s exactly the kind of ego-fueled move that’s turning voters away from Trump.”
The White House orchestrating a hit job on one of the country’s most respected public health officials in the middle of a pandemic isn’t just dangerous and repugnant – it’s one of the politically stupider moves they’ve made in a long time.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) July 12, 2020
Shivving someone as trusted and beloved by the public as Fauci will now serve as one of the more glaring, memorable examples of Trump’s catastrophic response to the pandemic, and it’s exactly the kind of ego-fueled move that’s turning voters away from Trump.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) July 12, 2020
This list of Fauci mistakes (including his approving of sex hookups with online strangers during the pandemic) compiled by TGP’s Jim Hoft and published in May is stunning to look back on as the nation nears 140,00 dead from the virus.
The Post article notes the 79-year-old Fauci has no plans to quit because he wants to help find a vaccine not just for the coronavirus but for AIDS. Fauci has been working without success for an AIDS vaccine since the 1980s when he assumed his current position as Director the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH in 1984.
“Friends and allies say Fauci doesn’t quit because he loves his job and also feels a great sense of responsibility about helping to develop coronavirus vaccines and treatments — the biggest challenge of his career and the only way the country can truly begin to move past the pandemic. He has long said he does not want to retire before there is an AIDS vaccine.”
Read the Original Article Here