Dr. Anthony Fauci rebuked the mainstream media for continuing to stoke rumors that Donald Trump won’t let him do his job.
The public health expert told the radio show Mornings on the Mall Tuesday that the media needs to stop trying to pit him against the president, Fox News reported. Many in the media have speculated recently that Fauci is on the outs with an ignorant president who doesn’t respect scientific expertise, but both men have dismissed the gossip as unfounded, with the doctor declaring: “That is really unfortunate. I would wish that would stop because we have a much bigger problem here than trying to point out differences. They’re really fundamentally at the core when you look at things, they are not differences.”
Fauci slams media over rift rumors
The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Fauci is widely seen as the scientific voice of authority on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. But to some in the media, he’s not just a reliable source, but he is also a useful foil to a president they despise.
In recent days, some journalists have pointed to disagreements between Trump and Fauci over the effectiveness of an anti-malaria drug for treating coronavirus patients — as well as Fauci’s absence from some press briefings — to suggest that their relationship is fraying. But Dr. Fauci has dismissed chatter of a falling out as speculation that is not helpful in the fight against the pandemic.
In the Mornings on the Mall interview, Dr. Fauci criticized the media for trying to manufacture a narrative that the two men are at loggerheads over the coronavirus. Contrary to media speculation, President Trump listens to his scientific counsel, he told co-host Vince Coglianese, insisting:
The president has listened to what I’ve said and to the other people who are on the task force have said. When I’ve made recommendations, he has taken them. He has never countered, overwritten me. The idea of just pitting one against the other is not helpful. I wish that would stop and that we’d look ahead at the challenge we have to get over this thing.
Trump affirms positive relationship
Through the crisis, the gravelly-voiced doctor has become a familiar figure to millions of Americans stuck in isolation at home. Although Fauci and Trump have spoken about coronavirus in tones that often clash — with Fauci’s stark, scientific, sometimes gloomy assessments contrasting with Trump’s sunnier outlook — the two are in agreement on the fundamentals, Fauci has said.
Fauci defended Trump’s optimism about treating coronavirus with a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, telling Margaret Brennan of CBS on Sunday that Trump is “trying to bring hope to the people” and noted “there isn’t fundamentally a difference there,” even as he acknowledged that the drugs had not been definitively proven to work, a video flagged by BizPacReview reveals.
President Trump has also affirmed that his relationship with Fauci is positive, describing him as “extraordinary” at a Fox News town hall on Tuesday, according to the New York Post. He dismissed speculation about Fauci’s absence from a press briefing the day before.
“Yesterday, we weren’t really talking about what he’s an expert on. We were talking about a lot of other things,” Trump said. “And I don’t think they should be at every meeting.”
Setting the media straight
Dr. Fauci also pushed back against rumors that Trump is dead set on ending lockdowns around the country over the objections of public health experts who think longer quarantines are needed.
Trump said Tuesday that he is eager to open the economy back up by Easter, saying it would be a “beautiful” day for Americans in isolation to resume their normal lives, but Fauci called Trump’s plans “aspirational” and acknowledged that the president is “flexible,” The Washington Times reported.
When will the media grow up? Can we now move on from this nonsense once and for all?