Top White House infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has become somewhat of a controversial figure in recent days, due to his unwillingness to budge on reopening the economy.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) weighed in on the situation on Monday and suggested that Fauci should quit the coronavirus task force now that the US has gotten a handle on the outbreak.
The economy matters
Biggs appeared on a Tuscon radio show on Monday morning, and host Garret Lewis asked Biggs whether he believed that the de facto White House coronavirus task force leader was “helping or hurting.”
I think [Fauci] gave us a good start. I think it’s time for him to basically step down,” Biggs replied. “Here’s the deal. He has said last week in one of the meetings that I was on a conference call with that he has not taken into account societal, economic, or social impact to any of his policies.”
Biggs explained that while he believes that social distancing measures were the right move initially, Fauci’s “generic approach” has resulted in the unemployment of 17 million people and warrants revision.
He went on to remark that Fauci should take the approach that “we know where the most vulnerable are. We need to make sure that the most vulnerable receive the care that they need, and those who are treating them need to be tested often so that we make sure there’s nothing filtering into that population.”
“He has basically said: ‘we’re going to take — grocery stores can open, but any other retail store should not be open.’ This is the problem with Fauci,” Biggs concluded.
The relationship between top White House infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and Donald Trump has set off a media firestorm this week, as reports of tension between the two grow over this very same subject.
Fauci is not a politician or an economist. His sole focus is on infectious diseases, and it’s creating conflict with those that are actually weighing the risk of reopening the economy vs. shutting it down or several more weeks, risking economic contractions not seen since the great depression.
Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) joined Biggs’ calls for Fauci to step back or step down, writing in an op-ed published by the Washington Examiner over the weekend:
Fauci is a respected healthcare professional, who has contributed a great deal to his country. But he can no longer be one of the primary voices in this crisis, especially not after his assertion that the economic effects and devastation from this shutdown are merely inconvenient.
Indeed, The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation — one of the most cited and trusted forecasters of how hard the nation would be hit by the virus — once again revised their projection of how many individuals in the US will be hospitalized due to the virus by 34 percent on Monday.
The IHME also revised its projections for how many deaths would occur by 25 percent last week. Biggs and Buck continued in their op-ed, “Fauci and his team of experts deserve some credit for mitigating the spread of this virus. But they should no longer be the primary voices at the table.”