At a hearing focused on the federal response to the global health crisis, Fauci said the United States was experiencing a much more severe resurgence in coronavirus cases than countries in Europe because many U.S. states did not have managed to close completely.
“If you look at what happened in Europe when they closed or locked or went to a shelter in place. … They really did it to about 95% and more of the country, ”Fauci said.
False! We have more cases because we have tested a lot more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be fewer cases. How did Italy, France and Spain do? Today, Europe unfortunately has outbreaks. Most of our governors have worked hard and smart. We will be back STRONG!
– Donald J.Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 1 août 2020
“When you look at what we did, even though we closed, even though we created a lot of difficulties, we really only closed functionally about 50% in the sense of the whole country,” he added. .
Trump, who has repeatedly touted the United States’ ability to test in the face of criticism, claimed in his tweet on Saturday that the reason the country had such a high number of cases was because “we tested a lot more than any other country ”.
“If we tested less, there would be fewer cases. How did Italy, France and Spain do? Now, Europe is unfortunately having flare-ups. Most of our governors have worked hard and smart. We will come back STRONG, ”Trump said.
The comments marked the latest example in which tensions between those in the White House and the Fauci have come to light. Several administration officials have publicly questioned Fauci’s health assessments, with White House trade adviser Peter Navarro writing in a USA Today op-ed last month that Americans should deal with the expert’s advice. health with skepticism.
Trump retweeted a message last week that Fauci has “misled” the American people on a variety of issues, including the safety of a controversial anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine. Fauci responded by saying he had not misled the public about the pandemic.
As of Sunday morning, the United States had reported more than 4.6 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and about 154,000 deaths as a result, according to a Johns Hopkins University database. A sustained rise in infections in recent months has prompted many states to halt reopening plans and implement mask warrants.
Trump has continually cited the United States’ testing capacity as the reason for these surges. Health experts, including Fauci, however, said an increase in cases could not be explained by an increase in testing.
Fauci reiterated this point during his testimony on Friday, saying the spike in cases was caused by several factors, including states failing to “strictly adhere to the guidelines the task force and the White House issued” at the start. a gradual reopening.
Trump has argued that he has a good relationship with Fauci, who polls have found to be one of the country’s most trusted voices when speaking about the health crisis.
“He has this high approval rating, so why don’t I have a high approval rating… for the virus? Trump asked aloud at a White House press conference on Monday.