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White House takes aim at Fauci as he disagrees with Trump on virus

Webb7

The White House is making a concerted effort to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci as he becomes increasingly vocal about his concerns over reopening the country amid a national surge in coronavirus cases. The moves to undercut Fauci come just days after he gave an unvarnished look at his relationship with President Donald Trump, including that they have not spoken in weeks.

The tension between the two men -- who are no longer speaking, CNN reported last week -- has grown publicly as they have responded to one another through interviews and statements. But recent moves by the White House to publicly diminish the nation's top infectious disease expert amounts to a significant escalation as it seeks to divert attention from the government's failure to contain the coronavirus and instead push Trump's call to reopen the country. That effort continued Monday morning, when the President retweeted a baseless claim by game show host Chuck Woolery that "everyone is lying" about the coronavirus -- including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a statement Saturday, a White House official told CNN that "several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things." The official went on to provide a lengthy list of examples, citing Fauci's comments early in the pandemic and linking to past interviews.

These bullet points, which resembled opposition research on a political opponent, included Fauci downplaying the virus early on and a quote from March when Fauci said, "People should not be walking around with masks," among other comments. Not included were previous statements from the surgeon general urging people not to buy masks or an acknowledgment of the President's own false claims and misstatements about the virus.

Trump -- who in April retweeted a message calling for Fauci to be fired, though he later downplayed the significance of the message when asked -- has recently intensified his public criticism of Fauci in recent weeks.

"Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he's made a lot of mistakes," Trump said last week, undermining the public health expert whom Americans say in polls they trust more than the President.

In recent interviews, he openly questioned the advice he'd received from Fauci at the start of the outbreak.

"I think we are in a good place. I disagree with him," Trump said in an interview Tuesday when questioned about Fauci's assertion the US is still "knee-deep in the first wave" of the pandemic.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, said Sunday evening that any effort by the White House to sideline or discredit Fauci is "just atrocious."

Schiff told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" that such a move "is so characteristic of Donald Trump. He can't stand the fact that the American people trust Dr. Fauci and they don't trust Donald Trump -- and so he has to tear him down."

"We need people more than ever to speak truth to power, to be able to level with the American people about what we're facing with this pandemic, how to get it under control, how to protect ourselves and our families," Schiff continued. "That's what Dr. Fauci has been trying to do and by sidelining him the President is once again interfering with an effective response to this pandemic."

Kathleen Sebelius, who served as secretary of Health and Human Services under former President Barack Obama, told CNN efforts to discredit Fauci and other scientists are "potentially very, very dangerous" as the US and other countries work toward a coronavirus vaccine.

"I think people want to know from the scientists that the vaccine is safe, that it is effective, that it will not do more harm than good," she told Blitzer on "The Situation Room."

"And if the public scientists have been discredited, if the President says 'don't believe them, you can't listen to them, they're often wrong,' we have then undermined a national vaccination campaign which is an essential step to bringing this horrible period to an end."

 

 

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/12/politics/fauci-trump-coronavirus/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/07/12/fauci-trump-white-house-officials-coronavirus-schiff-tsr-sot-vpx.cnn

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djBuffoon
42 minutes ago, Webb7 said:

"Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he's made a lot of mistakes,"

That is rich coming from the guy who disbanded the pandemic response team and threw out the applicable guidebook, among dozens of other grave mistakes.

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