White House Moves to Discredit Fauci as Disagreements With Trump Become Evident - 2020-07-12
For months, Dr. Anthony Fauci has been the face of the White House response to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the government's top infectious disease specialist is being sidelined, and the administration appears to be actively trying to discredit the career civil servant with more than 50 years in government service under his belt. Both the Washington Post and NBC News received a list from an unnamed administration official that pointed out comments that Fauci had made earlier about the coronavirus outbreak that were later proved to be wrong. "Several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things," an official told both of the outlets.
What was included in the list? Fauci's comments in January that the coronavirus was "not a major threat." It also included assurances by Fauci that asymptomatic carriers did not play a significant role in spreading COVID-19 and his comment in March that "people should not be walking around with masks," among others. Even Fauci's supporters acknowledge that the 79-year-old head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases made lots of mistakes early on in the coronavirus crisis. But he was hardly alone. Case in point: Surgeon General Jerome Adams acknowledged Sunday that the administration was "trying to correct" earlier messaging that advised against wearing face masks. "We follow the science and when we learn more, our recommendations change," he said. Adams went back in history to explain how these types of mistakes can happen: "Well, it's important for people to understand that once upon a time, we prescribed cigarettes for asthmatics and leeches and cocaine and heroin for people as medical treatments. When we learned better, we do better."