National Institutes of Health director and epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci has been behind much of the US’s policymaking decisions in regard to COVID-19, and his opinions were treated as infallible for months — even by Donald Trump.
However, as the US works its way through the pandemic, Donald Trump is no longer willing to defer to Fauci. Trump just told Fox News on Thursday that Fauci has made “a lot of mistakes” over the last several months.
Trump and Fauci spoke glowingly of each other through March and April, but Trump has finally revealed the truth about Fauci’s policy direction throughout the pandemic.
Trump revealed that Fauci had opposed Trump’s decision to enact travel bans on those coming to the US from China and Europe as the pandemic spread, pointing out that Fauci later admitted that the decision — even though it wasn’t recommended by “the experts” — ended up saving thousands of lives.
“They’ve been wrong about a lot of things, including face masks,” Trump said, referring to the experts on the White House task force headed up by Fauci. “Maybe they’re wrong, maybe not, but a lot of them said, ‘Don’t wear a mask, don’t wear a mask,’ and now they’re saying, ‘Wear a mask.’ So a lot of mistakes were made.”
Now that coronavirus infections are surging in many states, tensions between Fauci and Trump have resurfaced. Fauci attacked Trump in an interview published on Friday, saying that he’s “trying to figure out where the president got that number,” referring to Trump’s assertion earlier this month that “99 percent” of COVID-19 cases are “harmless.”
Fauci continued: “What I think happened is that someone told him that the general mortality is about 1 percent. And he interpreted, therefore, that 99 percent is not a problem, when that’s obviously not the case.”
Fauci revealed that he has not met with Trump in person since early June.
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