Former President Donald Trump criticized Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx on Monday, accusing infectious disease experts of “trying to reinvent history” in television interviews detailing their roles in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump spoke out after Fauci and Birx, who both served as key members of his administration’s coronavirus task force, were interviewed for a CNN special called “COVID WAR: Pandemic Doctors ‘express’.
During the special, Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, described the push to develop a COVID-19 vaccine as “the best decision I have ever made regarding an intervention in as director of the institute. Birx, the former White House coronavirus response coordinator, said she had a “very difficult” phone call with Trump after speaking candidly about the severity of an outbreak last August.
FAUCI SAYS COVID-19 PUSH COULD BE THE ‘BEST DECISION’ IT HAS MADE
In a lengthy statement, Trump accused his two former colleagues of being “self-promoters.”
“Based on their interviews, I felt it was time to talk about Dr Fauci and Dr Birx, two self-proponents trying to reinvent the story to cover up their bad instincts and flawed recommendations, which I have luckily almost always overturned, ”Trump told me. “They made bad political decisions that would have left our country open to China and others, closed to our economy reopening and years of an approved vaccine – putting millions of lives at risk. ”
Trump has long taken credit for the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines as part of “Operation Warp Speed,” a partnership between federal agencies and private companies. To date, three vaccines have received emergency use authorizations in the United States.
The former president said Fauci and Birx “have moved far too slowly” on vaccine development and touted tough lockdown measures that would leave Americans “locked in our basements.”
“Operation Warp Speed” was first announced in May. In his interview with CNN, Fauci said the decision to “do it all” on vaccine development was made much earlier.
“When I saw what happened in New York City, almost invading our health care system, it was like ‘Oh my God’,” Fauci said. “And that’s when it became very clear that the decision we made on January 10 – to put everything together and develop a vaccine – was perhaps the best decision I have ever made regarding an intervention as director of the institute. ”
Trump described Fauci’s remarks as a “mock interview.” He mocked Fauci’s first pitch at a Washington Nationals game last July, saying the doctor “was a college athlete but couldn’t throw a baseball even near home plate,” adding: “It was a rollerblading. ”
He added that Fauci “tried to take credit for the vaccine, when in fact he said it would take three to five years, and probably longer, to get it approved.”
“Dr. Fauci was unable to pressure the FDA to pass faster. I did it, and even the fake media know and report it. ” Dr. Fauci is also the king of “flip flops” and moving the goalposts to look the best possible. He fought me so hard because he wanted to keep our country open to countries like China. ”
Trump also targeted Birx in the long rant.
The former response coordinator described a “very uncomfortable” phone call with Trump after warning in a television appearance last August that COVID-19 was “extraordinarily widespread.”
“It was a CNN report in August that got horrible rejection,” Birx told the network. “It was a very difficult time, as everyone in the White House was overwhelmed by this interview and the clarity I brought to the epidemic. ”
In response, Trump called Birx a “proven liar with very little credibility.”
“A lot of her recommendations were seen as ‘pseudo-scientific’, and Dr Fauci always spoke negatively about her and, in fact, asked not to be in the same room with her,” Trump said. “States that followed his lead, like California, had worse results on Covid and ruined the lives of countless children because they couldn’t go to school, ruined many businesses and many countless Americans who have been killed by the lockdowns themselves. . Dr Birx was a terrible medical advisor, which is why I rarely took his advice. ”
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“There was no ‘very difficult’ phone call other than Dr Birx’s policies which would have led us directly to depression caused by COVID,” he added. “It was a very negative voice that didn’t have the right answers. Time has proven to me that I am right. I only kept Dr Fauci and Dr Birx because they worked for the US government for so long – they’re like a bad habit. ! ”
Critics of Trump, including President Biden and key members of his administration, accused the former president of overseeing a chaotic nationwide vaccination campaign. In January, Biden described the campaign as a “dismal failure.”
Meanwhile, prominent Republicans, including former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, accused the Biden administration of taking credit for it. a vaccination campaign that was already well underway before his arrival.