The White House has taken an unusual step to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of its coronavirus task force and also nation’s top disease expert, as he continues to give warnings that the country is not ready for a reopening amid a recent surge in coronavirus cases. They started their moves against Dr. Fauci days after he confirmed that he hasn’t spoken with Trump in weeks.
The tension between Trump and Dr. Fauci, who no longer speak directly, has become public as both have responded to each other through interviews. However, the White House’s recent moves to discredit Dr. Fauci is seen by many as an attempt to divert the attention of the citizens from the failure of the government to contain the virus and to instead support the reopening of the country as per Trump’s call.
Earlier today Trump retweeted a post made by Chuck Woolery, a game show host, claiming that CDC among others is trying to damage Trump’s election campaign and the economy of the US by lying about the coronavirus. It adds to a growing belief that faced with a surge in coronavirus cases Trump is going back to the view that coronavirus is fake and is intended to damage him.
President Trump’s advisers anonymously provided several media outlets a list of comments made by Dr. Fauci earlier in the pandemic claiming that White House officials are concerned about how many times Dr. Fauci has been wrong about things. Those comments included when Dr. Fauci said in January that covid19 is not a major threat and that transmission of coronavirus doesn’t take place through asymptomatic carriers, and also the comment he made in March that people should not walk around wearing masks.
Dr. Fauci who has worked with six presidents from both parties has openly disagreed with Trump in recent times. In particular, Dr. Fauci disagreed with Trump’s claim that 99 percent of the United States’ coronavirus cases were completely harmless saying that was not true.
The attacks on Dr.Fauci started as a new surge in coronavirus cases emerged nationwide which have been repeatedly downplayed by Trump. The US surpasses 70,000 new coronavirus cases on Friday which is their new daily record. Florida reported more than 15000 new cases on Sunday which is the most of any state since the start of the pandemic. More than 60000 coronavirus cases were reported on Monday taking the total to 3.4 million.
A person close to the situation accepted that Dr. Fauci is appearing less on the television because Trump is not happy with his public statements. There were some suggestions from the start that Trump doesn’t like Dr. Fauci’s appearance on television but the White House tried to restrain the tension between them for months.
Adm. Brett Giroir, a member of the coronavirus task force, said recently that he has a lot of respect for Dr. Fauci but according to him Dr. Fauci doesn’t think of the whole national interest and that he is not 100 percent right. Giroir believes that Dr. Fauci looks at the situation from a narrow health point of view and that he doesn’t think about factors of economic consideration when he makes recommendations.
Michael Caputo, assistant secretary for public affairs at Health and Human Services, doesn’t believe in the scientists-versus-White-house-narrative. He said that he has great faith in all the doctors and scientists in the coronavirus taskforce to convey necessary health information. Caputo also named Admiral Giroir and some others claiming that they are carrying the messages to the public very effectively. He did not directly answer questions about Dr. Fauci.