Donald Trump Challenges Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Accuracy on Coronavirus Pandemic

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15: U.S. President Donald Trump is flanked by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases while speaking about coronavirus vaccine development in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. Dubbed "Operation Warp Speed," …
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President Donald Trump on Tuesday criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci’s accuracy after the doctor complained about one of the president’s campaign ads.

“Actually, Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications,” Trump said, pointing to the doctor’s early advice to Americans not to wear masks before changing his mind.

Fauci said in July he did not regret advising against mask in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, but now believed they were very effective in preventing the spread of the disease.

The president also pointed to a recent recommendation against lockdowns from Dr. David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s special envoy on coronavirus.

“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” Nabarro said, adding that “by and large, we’d rather not do it.”

“WHO no longer likes Lockdowns – just came out against. Trump was right,” Trump wrote, arguing that the United States lockdowns saved “2,000,000 USA lives!”

Fauci complained the president’s campaign featuring him in an ad without his permission, which was “in effect, harassing me” and said it was “out of context.”

“I think it’s really unfortunate and really disappointing that they did that,” Fauci said in an interview with CNN. “It’s so clear I’m not a political person and I have never, either directly or indirectly, endorsed a candidate.

Fauci’s comments that were used in the ad were from a March interview with Fox News where the doctor praised the White House coronavirus task force.

We’ve never had a threat like this. The coordinated response has been… There are a number of adjectives to describe it — impressive, I think is one of them. We’re talking about all hands on deck. I, as one of many people on a team, I’m not the only person. Since the beginning, that we even recognized what this was, I have been devoting almost full time on this. I’m down at the White House virtually every day with the task force. It’s every single day. So, I can’t imagine that under any circumstances that anybody could be doing more.

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh defended the ad in a statement to CNN.

“These are Dr. Fauci’s own words,” he said. “The video is from a nationally broadcast television interview in which Dr. Fauci was praising the work of the Trump Administration. The words spoken are accurate, and directly from Dr. Fauci’s mouth.”

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