President Trump on Tuesday doubted the accuracy of Dr. Anthony Fauci, who claimed comments he made were taken “out of context” when they were used in an ad touting the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Actually, Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications. ‘No problem, no masks’. WHO no longer likes Lockdowns – just came out against. Trump was right. We saved 2,000,000 USA lives!!!,” the president said on Twitter, referencing how Fauci tossed the first pitch for the Washington National’s game in July.
Trump linked to a post noting Fauci’s comments made during an interview with Fox News in March.
In the interview Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, was asked about the administration’s response to the pandemic.
“Since the beginning, that we even recognized what this was, I have been devoting almost full time on this. I’m down at the White House virtually every day with the task force. It’s every single day. So, I can’t imagine that under any circumstances that anybody could be doing more,” he said.
Fauci said he was referring to the White House coronavirus task force.
“In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate. The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials,” Fauci said in a statement to CNN last weekend, following the airing of the ad.
In the ad the campaign aired last week after the president returned to the White House after being treated for the coronavirus at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a narrator praises Trump’s handling of the pandemic and a clip shows Fauci seemingly praising the president personally.
“President Trump is recovering from the coronavirus, and so is America,” the narrator says. “Together we rose to meet the challenge, protecting our seniors, getting them life-saving drugs in record time, sparing no expense.”
Fauci is then seen saying: “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”
The top doc has defended not urging people to wear masks during the early stages of the coronavirus when personal protection equipment and masks were in short supply as the disease took hold.
“I don’t regret anything I said then because in the context of the time in which I said it, it was correct. We were told in our task force meetings that we have a serious problem with the lack of PPEs,” he said during an interview in July.
The World Health Organization reversed itself on COVID-19 lockdowns, warning countries that the measures should only be used as a last resort and could result in economic harm.
“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” Dr. David Nabarro said in a recent interview.
“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it,” he said.
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