National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci dismissed blaming President Donald Trump and the Centers for Disease Control for delays on coronavirus testing in the early stages of the outbreak.
Fauci explained the circumstances to nationally syndicated radio talker Hugh Hewitt during an interview that aired on Tuesday.
Partial transcript as follows:
HEWITT: Now my last technical question has to do with the CDC and the testing breakdown. Was that because of regulatory capture? Was that because the CDC always prefers its own work? Was that simply because we were not, we’ve never, I think what the President was saying yesterday is while we’ve confronted Ebola and H1N1, we’ve never confronted as fast a moving virus as this one before that is so elusive to diagnose. What happened on the testing development?
FAUCI: You know, it was a complicated series of multiple things that conflated that just, you know, went the wrong way. One of them was a technical glitch that slowed things down in the beginning. Nobody’s fault. There wasn’t any bad guys there. It just happened. And then when we realized, when the CDC realized, and the FDA said both the system itself as it was set up, which serves certain circumstances very well, was not well-suited to the kind of broad testing that we needed the private sector to get involved in.
The regulatory constraints, which under certain circumstances are helpful and protective of the American people were not suited to the emergence of this particular outbreak. So there was a confluence of a bunch of things. I believe now that the CDC and the FDA and the Department, that we’ve got it right now, because we’re handing much of it over to the private sector to heavy hitter companies that do this for a living. And I think what you’re going to be seeing looking forward is a major, major improvement in the availability of testing.
HEWITT: Was the glitch or anything about the production of the test President Trump’s fault? Or actually, let me put it more broadly, would every president have run into the same problem?
FAUCI: Oh, absolutely. This has nothing to do with anybody’s fault, certainly not the President’s fault.
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