Fauci Responds to Navarro’s Attacks, ‘Ultimately, It Hurts the President To Do That’
July 16, 2020 (EIRNS)—Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), as well as a major figure on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, gave a series of interviews to The Atlantic this week. In the interviews he responded forcefully to the list of alleged mistakes he has made that was given to the press by his opponents in the White House staff, and especially in trade adviser Peter Navarro’s July 14 op-ed in USA Today, with its wholesale denunciation of Fauci’s record. Fauci observed, accurately, that such statements only hurt President Donald Trump himself.
“I stand by everything I said. Contextually, at the time I said it, it was absolutely true,” Fauci stated.
“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.... 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 [Chief of Staff Mark Meadows] I thought it was a big mistake. That doesn’t serve any good purpose for what we’re trying to do.”
Asked about Navarro’s op-ed in particular, Fauci replied: “I can’t explain Peter Navarro. He’s in a world by himself. So I don’t even want to go there.” The White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Farah specified in a tweet July 15 that “The Peter Navarro op-ed didn’t go through normal White House clearance processes and is the opinion of Peter alone. @realDonaldTrump values the expertise of the medical professionals advising his Administration.” The President responded to media quest about Navarro’s op-ed: “He made a statement representing himself. He shouldn’t be doing that. I have a very good relationship with Anthony. We’re all on the same team, including Dr. Fauci.”
The Atlantic also asked Fauci what should be done at this point on the pandemic:
“When you look at the numbers, obviously, we’ve got to do better. We’ve got to almost reset this and say, ‘Okay, let’s stop this nonsense’... By pushing a reset button, I don’t mean everybody locking down again. We’ve got to call a time-out and say … ‘Okay, we’re going to do it right, everyone wear a mask, bars closed, no congregating in crowds, keep your distance, protect the vulnerable’—if we do that for a few weeks in a row, I’ll guarantee you those numbers will come down.”