Several administration officials have publicly challenged Dr. Fauci’s assessment that the United States “is not doing well” in relation to the handling of the virus by other countries.
On Sunday, Brett Giroir, a health and social services official and a member of the same task force, rejected Dr. Fauci’s assessment, as well as his recommendation that states experiencing a new case peak should shut down their economies.
“I have a lot of respect for Dr. Fauci, but Dr. Fauci is not 100% right and he does not necessarily have, and he admits that, all of the national interest in mind,” Giroir told Meet The Press Sunday.
“He looks at it from a very narrow perspective of public health. “
In two separate television interviews during the week, President Donald Trump also targeted Dr. Fauci, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity that he was “a nice man, but he made a lot of errors “and Greta Van Susteren of Gray TV that he disagreed with Dr. Fauci’s assessments.
Dr. Fauci is both the director of the United States National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and, until recently, the public face of the administration’s coronavirus response. On Thursday, in a podcast interview with the FiveThirtyEight site, he said that some cities have done well in controlling the epidemic: “But 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. ”
The United States has a quarter of the nearly 13 million cases of coronavirus worldwide and is experiencing a wave of infections in many states.
White House officials on Sunday provided US media outlets with a list of Dr. Fauci’s previous comments about the virus and its spread, which they claim have been proven to be wrong.
These include remarks he made in January in which he stated that the coronavirus was “not a major threat to people in the United States” and that asymptomatic carriers of the virus were unlikely viruses are spreaders of the disease.
The White House also seized a remark from Dr. Fauci in March when the doctor downplayed the benefits of wearing face covers.
Dr. Fauci appeared to acknowledge tensions with the White House in a weekend FT lunch, in which he revealed that he had not met the President in person since June 2 and had not not informed for more than two months.
The health official told the FT that a March interview with Science magazine – in which he said: “I can’t jump in front of the microphone and push [Trump] down ”- had caused“ a fight ”.
However, the doctor said he was “sure” that his messages to the president were getting through.
“I have a reputation, as you probably understand, for telling the truth at all times and not for making sugar,” he said. “And that may be one of the reasons why I haven’t been on TV a lot lately. “