The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appearing with CDC Director Robert Redfield and Assistant Secretary of Health Adm. Bret Giroir, argued that the White House’s decision to leave shutdown decisions to States allowed the virus to run rampant.
“If you look at what happened in Europe when they shut down… they really did it to the tune of about 95% and up,” Fauci said in testimony after group chairman Jim Clyburn (DS C.) presented a contrasting graph with Covid -19 cases in the United States and Europe.
“When you look at what [the U.S.] we did that – even though we closed, although it created a lot of difficulty – we only really functionally closed about 50% of the entire country.
Tensions between Trump and Fauci have simmered for months. The president has previously retweeted messages calling for the sacking of Fauci and Trump allies, including senior business adviser Peter Navarro, publicly attacked him in a smear campaign. Trump and Fauci maintain that relations between them are good.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that the United States has more cases because it tests more than any country, contradicting officials in his own administration and confusing public health experts. The president also told a rally that he called for a slowdown in national testing in that capacity – a claim that White House officials later called a joke.
In his testimony on Friday, Fauci said he maintained previous comments that the surge was “due to a number of factors, one of which was that in the attempt to reopen, that in certain situations states do not. did not strictly adhere to the guidelines that the Task Force and the White House had set up and others who even respected it, the people of the state were in fact gathering in droves and not wearing masks. ”