#FireFauci: President Trump Retweets Criticism of Top Disease Expert
President Donald Trump sent tongues a-wagging on Sunday when he retweeted criticism of infection disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the most prominent members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. While Trump has mostly had nothing but praise for Fauci in recent weeks, there have been some reports from within the White House that the president has mixed feelings about the doctor. Certainly, he may not have appreciated what Fauci said on CNN this weekend, when he told host Jake Tapper that the U.S. could have saved lives if the government had acted earlier.
“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,” Fauci said Sunday. “Obviously, no one is going to deny that. But what goes into those kinds of decisions is complicated. But you’re right. Obviously, if we had, right from the very beginning, shut everything down, it may have been a little bit different. But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down.”
This drew a harsh response from DeAnna Lorraine, who ran an unsuccessful primary challenge against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month.
“Fauci is now saying that had Trump listened to the medical experts earlier he could’ve saved more lives,” said the tweet. “Fauci was telling people on February 29th that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the US at large. Time to #Fire Fauci.”
President Trump retweeted the message, adding, “Sorry Fake News, it’s all on tape. I banned China long before people spoke up.”
Well, he’s not wrong. And nor was the tweet wrong in terms of characterizing Fauci’s earlier views.
On the other hand, it’s possible that Fauci’s remarks on CNN were misconstrued to a certain extent. It seems to us that even Trump would agree with the simple idea that, had things been done earlier, lives could have been saved.
Hell, we could have shut down all international travel in December, when the first whispers of a mysterious Wuhan flu began circulating, and we might not have a single case in the United States right now. We could have shut down concerts, Disney World, and the NFL in January and sent everyone to work from home. Could have rolled out the tests right around Valentine’s Day.
Except, of course, hindsight is always 20/20, and Trump would have been raked over the coals for making any of those moves. Plenty of people were looking at Ohio Gov. Jim DeWine with raised eyebrows when he canceled the Arnold Classic…and that was on March 7th. Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was still arguing to keep the city’s schools open the following weekend.
Some of the president’s supporters have gone in hard on Fauci, and they would love to see him fired. We tend to think that would be a huge mistake, and it would throw the gasoline of uncertainty into a fire of panic that is already burning in America. Keep the guy around, tell him to watch out for the gotcha media, and let’s move forward.