Fauci Says Virus Surge Due to US Not Shutting Down Completely

Wednesday, 15 Jul, 2020

Fauci, in public statements and internally, refused to endorse it, saying it had not been proven to be effective.

Trump retweeted to his 83 million followers the accusations of a former game show host that "everyone is lying", including the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The official mentioned Fauci's earlier comments on the pandemic, including his description of the coronavirus as "not a major threat" in January, as examples. That includes, he said, downplaying the early risk of the virus and expressing skepticism over the use of hydroxychloroquine, which Navarro has aggressively championed despite contradictory evidence on its efficacy and safety. He said he was unsure just how much it could spread among asymptomatic people infected with the virus and the masks, which were needed for frontline workers, were in short supply.

One explanation of the rift is straightforward: Trump, tired of fighting the virus, has simply chose to push forward with a triumphant narrative of getting back to business, and is sidelining Debbie Downers like Fauci as a result. She said Fauci and the president "have always had a very good working relationship".

Aides to Trump first released to The Washington Post what the paper called a "lengthy list" of remarks that Fauci had made about the virus when it was in its early stages.

Reports of a rift between the two appeared after Fauci stated in an interview with The Financial Times last week that a claim by the president, that 99 percent of coronavirus cases are harmless, was "obviously not the case". The official argued that people who disliked Trump outside the administration had given outsize value to Fauci's voice.

Fauci has, however, still been doing interviews in print and other forms of media. Sources say part of that irritation is over the "good press" Fauci has received.

That lionizing of Fauci is anything but welcome as the White House tries to have its medical experts take a step back from the limelight to keep the election-season focus on economic recovery rather than the persistence of the pandemic. The divergence boiled down to a president who was optimistic about the country's ability to emerge from the pandemic interacting with a health official fundamentally conservative in his approach, the person said.

McEnany assured reporters in a news briefing Monday that the president still appreciates Fauci's public health expertise and advise.

In an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, Adm. Brett Giroir, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said there is "open discourse" within the team. "I mean, we're just not", Fauci said recently, according to CNN.

Again, it's not surprising that Trump is trying so hard to discredit his top public health expert.

Fauci is scheduled to be in the West Wing Monday for meetings.

Fauci has disagreed with the president, who has not spoken to Fauci in weeks, through public comments.

"Dr Fauci is a nice man, but he's made a lot of mistakes", he said last week. He also disagreed with Fauci's belief that the U.S. is "knee deep" in the pandemic's first wave and has to make serious changes right away.

But the White House said that it only sent responses to dozens of questions it had received from the Washington Post.

"Here it is, it has happened, your worst nightmare, the flawless storm", Fauci said in a video conference with the dean of Stanford's medical school on Monday in which Fauci called for a "step back" in USA reopenings. I will immediately reach out to Dr. Anthony Fauci to ask him to continue his incredible service to the country.