Donald J. Trump is apparently in his feelings about Dr. Anthony Fauci’s honest response to a question asked to him on CNN’s State of the Union. Host Jake Tapper queried the federal government’s top infectious disease expert about earlier measures to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Fauci admitted that intervention prior to when the United States began taking the threat seriously “could have saved lives.”
Last night Trump took to Twitter to rant, retweeting a post that had a “Fire Fauci” hashtag. The message from former congressional candidate DeAnna Lorraine said in full: “Fauci is now saying that had Trump listened to the medical experts earlier he could’ve saved more lives. Fauci was telling people on February 29th that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the US public at large. Time to #FireFauci…”
Trump quote-tweeted that “Fire Fauci” message, saying, “Sorry Fake News, it’s all on tape. I banned China long before people spoke up.” He also thanked One America News Network, which has a reputation of praising the country’s current leader even more so than conservative television network Fox News.
The country has long speculated about a Trump-Fauci rift after the expert on infectious diseases went missing for a number of coronavirus press briefings. Critics of the impeached President have also questioned their degree of cordiality given their differing approach to providing pertinent information on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even so, Fauci has maintained that his relationship with Trump is not strained, and has often toed the line of being honest while not criticizing the administration’s approach to handling the novel coronavirus outbreak. Even on Sunday, when asked about an early response, he conceded that lives could have been saved but also said that implementing social distancing guidelines was tricky.
“Obviously, it would have been nice if we had a better head start, but I don’t think you could say that we are where we are right now because of one factor,” Fauci told Tapper during their interview. “It’s very complicated.” Fauci also admitted that he and other experts had wanted to begin social and physical distancing measures as early as February, something that was reported by The New York Times. The administration reportedly waited weeks to come around to the idea.