Tensions between Trump and Fauci have been simmering for months.
President Donald Trump publicly rebuked Dr. Anthony Fauci on Saturday, forcefully rejecting the nation’s top infectious disease expert’s testimony on why the U.S. has experienced a renewed surge in coronavirus cases.
“Wrong!” Trump wrote in a retweet of a video where Fauci explained to a House subcommittee that the U.S. has seen more cases than European countries because it only shut down a fraction of its economy amid the pandemic. “We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases,” the president added.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appearing with CDC Director Robert Redfield and Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir, contended that the White House’s decision to leave shutdown decisions to states allowed the virus to run rampant.
“If you look at what happened in Europe when they shut down … they really did it to the tune of about 95-plus percent,” Fauci said in his testimony after panel chair Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) presented a chart contrasting Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe.
“When you actually look at what [the U.S.] did — even though we shut down, even though it created a great deal of difficulty — we really functionally shut down only about 50 percent of the totality of the country.”
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