Since its formation in January, Dr. Anthony Fauci has been among the most visible members of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force.
However, Fauci has also courted his share of controversy and received numerous calls for his firing, with BlazeTV personality Steve Deace now joining that chorus.
Speaking in a video shared to Twitter on Saturday, Deace sarcastically referenced a possible rift between “President Trump and Pope Fauci, the often wrong and over-rated.”
“And it’s clear with basically everyone that would even consider voting for Donald Trump this fall that Anthony Fauci has worn out his welcome to at least some degree,” he remarked. “But why? How did we get here? Why does he deserve to be fired? How about being wrong about everything? What do I mean? Let us count the ways.”
Deace decries Fauci’s inconsistencies
Deace proceeded to play audio from January in which Fauci can be heard telling radio host John Catsimatidis that “the American people should not be worried or frightened by [the coronavirus]. It’s a very, very low risk to the United States,” he added, as The Hill reported.
“Then,” Deace said, “he echoed those sentiments in the New England Journal of Medicine no less, one of the most preeminent publications of American medicine.”
Deace continued: “And he wrote on Feb. 28, and I quote, ‘The overall clinical consequence of COVID-19 may be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza.’
“So if you want to know where did the talking point come from, ‘It’s just a bad flu, it came from him,” Deace said, gesturing toward a screen showing Fauci’s statement.
“But hey, if you don’t like his current positions, stick around — he’ll have some more. On March 8, Anthony Fauci on 60 Minutes told us there’s no reason to be walking around wearing a mask,” Deace added before cutting to footage showing Fauci sporting a mask of his own.
Ups and downs with Trump
It is worth noting that despite his meteoric rise to celebrity status amid the pandemic, Fauci has also had his share of run-ins with the president himself, with some of their differences of opinion on the coronavirus response making their way into the public sphere.
Adding to speculation of a strained relationship between Trump and Fauci was an incident back in April when the president retweeted a post from a supporter who called for the latter’s ouster from his task force role. As The Hill reported, the White House was forced to tamp down rumors of a rift, with deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley saying at the time, “This media chatter is ridiculous — President Trump is not firing Dr. Fauci.”
As recently as last week, however, when Fauci seemed to express hesitation in a congressional hearing about the advisability of reopening schools before a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, Trump said it was “not an acceptable answer,” as CNBC reported.