Fauci faces criticism after praising New York’s response to COVID-19

Recent comments from Dr. Anthony Fauci bolstered longstanding rumors that he may not be the right person to lead the United States through the coronavirus pandemic.

“Maybe Fauci really is losing it,” columnist Eddie Scarry wrote for the Washington Examiner on Monday.

“They did it correctly”

Scarry’s commentary came in response to remarks that Fauci, the long-serving director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a top adviser on the White House coronavirus task force, made in an interview with PBS last week. According to Scarry, “Fauci claimed with a straight face on Friday that New York has been a shining example of how to beat back the coronavirus.”

Fauci went on to say that New York handled the outbreak “correctly.”

“We’ve got to do the things that are very clear that we need to do to turn this around, remembering we can do it,” he told PBS’s Judy Woodruff, according to Scarry. “We know that when you do it properly, you bring down those cases. We’ve done it. We’ve done it in New York.”

Fauci went on: “New York got hit worse than any place in the world, and they did it correctly.”

The truth about New York

It remains unclear, of course, what exactly Fauci was referring to when he said the Big Apple did things “correctly.” As Scarry noted, the state of New York has suffered more than 32,000 COVID-19-related deaths, roughly twice as many as the state with the second-highest death toll, New Jersey.

In fact, New York has seen more deaths from the coronavirus than the states of Florida, Georgia, and Texas combined, according to Scarry.

Part of that may be due to reasons outlined in a May article from Bloomberg News, which called out leaders in New York for suggesting that it was safe to take public transportation early on in the outbreak. According to Bloomberg, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on March 3: “From what we do understand, you cannot contract it through casual contact, so the subway is not the issue.”

The day before, New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot relayed a similar message. “We want New Yorkers to go about their daily lives, ride the subway, take the bus, go see your neighbors,” he said, according to Bloomberg.

As Bloomberg noted separately, it wasn’t until early May that the New York City subway started shutting down periodically for cleanings. The outlet also accused leaders in New York of being “late” to issue stay-at-home orders and alleged that Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo made “an ill-fated decision to send [elderly coronavirus patients] back to nursing homes once they were well enough to leave the hospital,” a move that may have contributed to a statistic revealed in a June New York Times report: “More Than 40% of U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Are Linked to Nursing Homes.”

Is all of that really what Dr. Fauci has in mind for the U.S. as the nation continues to battle COVID-19? Something just isn’t adding up.

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