Coronavirus: White House activates Fauci as Trump tries to minimize COVID-19 spike – National


With the number of US virus cases increasing and the death toll increasing, the White House is trying to undermine its most reliable coronavirus expert, minimizing the danger as US President Donald Trump pushes to do so. move the economy before facing the voters in November.

The United States has become an uplifting tale around the world, with cases falling in a spiral. However, Trump suggests that the severity of the pandemic that has killed more than 135,000 Americans is overestimated by critics to hinder his chances of re-election.

Trump retweeted an article by Chuck Woolery, once the host of “Love Connection”, claiming that “Everyone is lying” about COVID-19. Woolery’s tweet attacked not only the media and the Democrats, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and most doctors “we are trusted to do.” I think it’s an election issue and preventing the economy from coming back, regarding the election. “

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At the same time, the president and key staff of the White House are intensifying attacks on Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s foremost infectious disease expert. Fauci has been increasingly sidelined by the White House as he rings alarms about the virus, a very unwelcome message at a time when Trump is focusing on economic recovery.

“We haven’t even started to see the end of it yet,” he said in an interview with the dean of Stanford medical school on Monday, calling for a “step back” when it reopens.

Last week, Fauci contradicted Trump on the severity of the virus in a FiveThirtyEight podcast. While Trump repeatedly claims that he has done a great job against the pandemic, Fauci said, “As a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don’t think you can say that we are doing very well. I mean, we just aren’t. ”

Trump later said that Fauci “made a lot of mistakes.” He underscored Fauci’s early disagreement with him over the travel ban to China and the evolution of guidelines on the use of masks as scientists’ understanding of the virus improved – points the White House said. developed in media statements this weekend.

Coronavirus: Trump says he has a “very good relationship” with Dr. Fauci

Coronavirus: Trump says he has a “very good relationship” with Dr. Fauci

Asked if the president still trusts Fauci, a White House official insisted Monday that Trump did. The official said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was seen as “a valuable voice” in the White House coronavirus task force. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, although the president has repeatedly denounced anonymous sources.

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“I have a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci,” Trump told reporters on Monday, calling him “very nice.” But the president added, “I don’t always agree with him.”

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This message of support was not echoed by Peter Navarro, one of the best White House business advisers who worked on the coronavirus effort.

In an email, Navarro continued to criticize Fauci at the Associated Press on Monday, saying that the doctor had “a good bedside with the public, but that he was wrong about everything I ever had interacted with him. ” This includes, he said, minimizing the early risk of the virus and expressing skepticism about the use of hydroxychloroquine, which Navarro has aggressively defended despite conflicting evidence of its efficacy and safety.

Fauci, who did not appear at recent White House task force briefings and was largely absent from television, told the Financial Times last week that he saw Trump in person at the White House on June 2 and had not informed him for at least two months.

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He blamed the fact that he refused to follow the administration’s line for his refusal to approve many of his media requests.

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“I have a reputation, as you probably understand, for telling the truth at all times and not for doing sugar-coated things. And that may be one of the reasons why I haven’t been on TV a lot lately, “said Fauci.

Trump’s political enemies have expressed it more strongly.

“The President’s disgusting attempt to pass the buck by blaming the country’s foremost infectious disease expert – whose advice he repeatedly ignored and Joe Biden implored him to take – is yet another horrific and revealing failure of the direction as the tragic death toll continues to occur. grow unnecessarily, “said Andrew Bates, campaign spokesperson for Democrat Biden.

Fauci’s public inconsistencies with Trump were viewed by the president as a personal affront and provoked sourness in the doctor in the west wing, officials said. Some say that even if he criticizes the president in media interviews, he is largely deferential behind closed doors. And they complain about people outside the administration, including in the media, who have elevated Fauci to the detriment of other officials.

Fauci did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

This lionization of Fauci is anything but welcome as the White House tries to push its medical experts into the limelight so that the election season focuses on economic recovery rather than the persistence of the pandemic.

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Coronavirus: White House comments on Trump administration’s relationship with Dr. Fauci

Coronavirus: White House comments on Trump administration’s relationship with Dr. Fauci

At the start of the virus, as Trump bristled with the attention Fauci received, the west wing took control of the doctor’s media calendar, dramatically reducing his television appearances, although he continued to find alternative outlets – including podcasts and social media.

The president’s team has made it clear that it has no intention of trying to overthrow Fauci, knowing the uproar that will result. Instead, they seem to be content with narrowing its reach while encouraging Republican lawmakers, administration officials and other allies to point out some of Fauci’s first missteps.

The effort is part of a White House effort to “counter-point” on behalf of Trump, who believes that all slights must have an energetic response, said an official, who, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the internal thinking of the White House.

At the same time, supporters flock to the defense of Fauci. The President and Scientific Director of the Association of American Medical Colleges issued a statement saying the organization was “extremely concerned and alarmed by the efforts” to discredit Fauci.

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“We cannot allow Donald Trump to silence Dr. Fauci or any other government scientist,” said Senator Ed Markey, D-Mass., Who introduced legislation in April to protect Fauci and other leaders of the National Institutes of Health against dismissal. Political reasons. “Dr. Fauci saves lives every day. ”

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