On his popular program Tuesday, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh offered his theory on why President Trump is not pushing back more on the nation’s leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, at least “not publicly.”
One of the more prevalent COVID-19 crisis narratives pushed by the mainstream media is the supposed conflict between Trump and Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the leading voices of the Coronavirus Task Force, which has directed the national response to the crisis. As the left-leaning media has repeatedly portrayed it, Fauci is supposedly at odds with Trump and rebuking him at nearly every turn — a narrative Fauci himself has refuted publicly.
Meanwhile, on the right, some have begun to criticize Fauci, casting him as an out-of-touch member of the elite and a product of the Washington “swamp” who Trump has trusted too much.
Limbaugh, as usual, has his own particular angle on the Trump-Fauci question. Asked by a caller Tuesday about why Trump seems to be “going along with everything” Fauci says, Limbaugh responded by offering his “take” on the issue.
“My take on Fauci is that it is a no-win to take on Fauci no matter what Trump wants to do,” said Limbaugh. “Fauci has had credibility with the American people for 40 years since the eighties, since the AIDS, HIV outbreak. And you have to pick your battles.”
“We don’t know how Trump is dealing with this privately,” Limbaugh stressed. “I’m telling you publicly he is not going to pick a fight with either Fauci or Team Scarf, not publicly.”
“Trump knows that the vast majority of people think and acknowledge that Fauci is a source authority on illness,” Rush explained. “The danger here is not that Fauci is an expert on that stuff. That can’t be denied. The danger is that we can’t be putting him in charge of when to open schools and when to open the NFL and when to do this or that.”
“You got a guy up there, Fauci, with 40 years’ experience, approval, credibility, authority,” Limbaugh continued after a break. “It just isn’t gonna happen publicly… In fact, I’ll tell you, if anybody is moving in any direction, it’s Dr. Fauci. Dr. Fauci has been asked twice in the last two briefings, essentially, ‘Please tell us that this guy’s an idiot. Please tell us that this guy’s an idiot and you’re saving him. Please tell us that he’s making you say things. Please tell us, Dr. Fauci, that Trump is making you say things and agree with him,’ and Fauci said, ‘Nope. Not happening.'”
As Limbaugh referenced, Fauci has repeatedly pushed back on overt attempts by the media to get him to rebuke Trump and criticize his handling of the crisis. He has even specifically called out the media’s divisive tactics. Asked last month about media questions “designed to create a rift between you and the President of the United States,” the infectious disease expert replied:
That is really unfortunate. I would wish that that would stop because we have a much bigger problem here than trying to point out differences. There really, fundamentally at the core, when you look at things, there are not differences. The president has listened to what I have said and what the other people on the task force have said. When I have made recommendations he’s taken them; he’s never countered or overridden me; the idea of pitting one against the other is just not helpful. I wish that would stop and we’d look ahead at the challenge we have to pull together to get over this thing.
Limbaugh highlighted Fauci’s pushback against the attempt to drive a wedge between him and Trump, and the media’s consequent severe “frustration.”
“As I say, Dr. Fauci’s perfectly fine in terms of his medical qualifications to tell people about the virus and how it expands and how it can be dealt with and all that,” Limbaugh said. “But when Dr. Fauci is put in charge of when things reopen then that, to me, is going a little too far. And, of course, that’s something that media would love to happen. And they would love to be able to report that Fauci has taken over because he realizes Trump is an incompetent boob. That’s not going to happen, either… While many of you are sitting out there frustrated that Trump won’t do something about Fauci, let me tell you something: The real frustration is over at CNN and MSNBC that Fauci will not dump on Trump.”
Transcript via RushLimbaugh.com