In the past, President Trump has quelled rumors that he does not have a good relationship with Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying last month that he’s “extraordinary” and that they “get along very well.” But suspicions mounted again on Sunday after Trump retweeted a message that included a call to “#FireFauci.”
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases appeared on CNN earlier in the day and said that more lives could’ve been saved if social distancing guidelines were enacted sooner.
“I mean, obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives,” he said. “Obviously, no one is going to deny that. But what goes into those kinds of decisions is complicated."
After hearing his remarks, former GOP congressional candidate DeAnna Lorraine reminded her followers that “Fauci was telling people on February 29th that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the US public at large,” adding, “Time to #FireFauci…”
Trump retweeted the message along with comments of his own.
“Sorry Fake News, it’s all on tape. I banned China long before people spoke up,” he said.
Fauci was on NBC News’ “Today” on Feb. 29, the date Lorraine mentioned, and talked about the “community spread” of the coronavirus. The virus, at that time, was known to be in Italy and China. Fauci was asked if Americans should change their way of life and he said, “there is no need to change what you are doing on a day-by-day basis.” But he said that could change.
The New York Times reported this weekend that Trump played down the seriousness of the virus in January, even though experts in both his cabinet and intelligence agencies “sounded the alarm.”
Trump called the Times’ story “Fake, just like the “paper” itself.” (Fox News)
Last month, Fauci called out the media for constantly trying to "pit" him against Trump.
"The president has listened to what I've said and to the other people who are on the task force have said,” Fauci said. “When I've made recommendations, he has taken them. He has never countered, overwritten me. The idea of just pitting one against the other is not helpful. I wish that would stop and that we'd look ahead at the challenge we have to get over this thing."
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