News and Commentary

Dr. Fauci Debunks Notion That He Blamed Trump, Shuts Down Reporter Suggesting Conspiracy
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci speaks, flanked by US Vice President Mike Pence, during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on March 31, 2020, in Washington, DC.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, shut down rumors on Monday that he was criticizing President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic during a CNN interview yesterday.

“I had an interview yesterday that I was asked a hypothetical question and hypothetical questions sometimes can get you into some difficulty because it’s what would have or could have,” Fauci said. “The nature of the hypothetical question was if, in fact, we had mitigated earlier, could lives have been saved?
And the answer to my question was, as I always do, and am doing right now, perfectly honestly say, yes.”

“I mean, obviously mitigation helps,” Fauci continued. “I’ve been up here many times telling you that mitigation works. So if mitigation works and you instigate its, and you initiate it earlier, you will probably save more lives. If you initiated it to later, you will probably lose more lives. You initiate it at a certain time. That was taken as a way that may be somehow something was at fault here.”

“Let me tell you from my experience, and I can only speak for my own experience, is that we have been talking before any meetings that we had about the pros and the cons, the effectiveness or not of strong mitigations,” Fauci continued. “So discussions were going on, mostly among the medical people about what that would mean. The first and only time that Dr. Birx and I went in and formally made a recommendation to the president to actually have a ‘shutdown’ … we discussed it. Obviously there would be concerns by some, and in fact, that might have some negative consequence. Nonetheless, the president listened to the recommendation. And went to the mitigation.”



Fauci later slammed left-wing CBS News reporter Paula Reid for suggesting that he was being forced to make the statement.

“Everything I do is voluntarily,” Fauci fired back. “Please. Don’t even imply that.”


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