WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- President Donald Trump on Monday called Dr. Anthony Fauci a “disaster” and said that people have become tired of COVID-19 warning because of him and “other idiots.”
- Trump said that the country would have half a million deaths if they had listened to Fauci’s advice.
- In defense of Fauci, Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander said that Fauci is one of the US’ “most distinguished public servants,” having served six presidents.
President Donald Trump slammed White House COVID-19 task force key member and country’s top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, during a call with his campaign team on Monday.
Trump said that people have become weary about the continuous COVID-19 warnings posted by “Fauci and all these idiots.”
“People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots, these people, these people that have gotten it wrong,” he told his staff.
“Fauci’s a nice guy. He’s been here for 500 years. He called every one of them wrong. And he’s like this wonderful guy, a wonderful sage, telling us how he said, ‘Do not wear face masks’ — that’s a number of months ago.”
The president said that the US would have over “500,000 deaths” if the White House had listened to Fauci.
“I have a list of 15 things, this guy. And yet, we keep him. Every time he goes on television, there’s always a bomb,” he said. “But there’s a bigger bomb if you fire him.”
Citing his effort on partial travel restriction from China to the US early this year, Trump continued with his remarks.
“We saved 2.2 million people. If we didn’t do what we did, and close it and do just — now we’re opening it. But we’d never close it again. It would never close, it’ll never close again. Because we know the disease…”
“But Fauci, if we listened to him, we’d have 700, 800,000 deaths right now,” the president said.
Without directly addressing the president’s criticism, Senate Health Committee member Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Republican, released a statement in defense of Fauci.
“Dr. Fauci is one of our country’s most distinguished public servants,” Alexander said.
“He has served six presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan. If more Americans paid attention to his advice, we’d have fewer cases of COVID-19, and it would be safer to go back to school and back to work and out to eat.”
At the start of the virus outbreak, Fauci recommended not to wear masks for those who are not infected, partly because of the worry of a possible “surgical masks” shortage for healthcare workers. After a month, he overturned his suggestion upon discovering that asymptomatic people were a good source of spreading the virus and that the wearing of face masks could mitigate virus transmission.
Over 8 million Americans have been infected with the novel coronavirus and around 219,000 people have died due to COVID-19.
Source: CBS News