Dr. Anthony Fauci, the revered immunologist who is by far the most respected medical professional battling the coronavirus pandemic, appears to have had enough. From President Donald Trump on down Fauci for months has been on the receiving end of increasingly ugly attacks designed to harm his credibility – and protect the president.
But after Trump’s in-house dirty trickster, Trade Advisor and China hate-monger Peter Navarro published an op-ed attacking Fauci in USA Today on Tuesday, the 79-year old Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is fighting back – in a very Fauci way.
Calling the White House’s campaign of attacks “bizarre,” Fauci tells The Atlantic, “I think if you sit down and talk to the people who are involved in that list that came out, they are really, I think, taken aback by what a big mistake that was.”
The “list” is a White House document sent to news outlets of statements Fauci made that are either falsely framed or out of context, claiming he “has been wrong on things.”
“I think if you talk to reasonable people in the White House, they realize that was a major mistake on their part, because it doesn’t do anything but reflect poorly on them,” Fauci added. “And I don’t think that that was their intention. I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that. I think they realize now that that was not a prudent thing to do, because it’s only reflecting negatively on them.”
Asked about the op-ed in USA Today that frames Fauci’s responses to the coronavirus pandemic through the eyes of Peter Navarro, the man who wrote a book titled “Death by China,” Fauci says simply, “I can’t explain Peter Navarro. He’s in a world by himself. So I don’t even want to go there.”
Fauci did meet with Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who reportedly is having his own career challenges.
“There was no apology,” Fauci says about any of the attacks against him by Trump’s aides.
“I said that that was not particularly a good thing to do. Ultimately, it hurts the president to do that. When the staff lets out something like that and the entire scientific and press community push back on it, it ultimately hurts the president. And I don’t really want to hurt the president. But that’s what’s happening. I told him I thought it was a big mistake. That doesn’t serve any good purpose for what we’re trying to do.”
Ultimately, Fauci just wants everyone to focus on fighting the coronavirus.
Asked, “Can you tell us the truth about the federal response to the pandemic?” here is what Fauci had to offer:
“We’ve got to almost reset this and say, OK, let’s stop this nonsense and figure out how can we get our control over this now,” Fauci told The Atlantic in an interview, “and looking forward, how can we make sure that next month, we don’t have another example of California, Texas, Florida and Arizona, because those are the hot zones now, and I’m looking at the map, saying we got to make sure it doesn’t happen in other states.”
“So rather than these games people are playing,” he added. “let’s focus on that.”
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