On Tuesday morning, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was interviewed on the radio, and slammed the media for trying to create a rift between him and President Trump, asserting, “I would wish that that would stop because we have a much bigger problem here than trying to point out differences … 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.”
The interview on WMAL’s “Mornings on the Mall” began with host Mary Walter asking Fauci about the 15-day timeline that President Trump had suggested before reassessing the situation of getting America back to work. Fauci answered:
This is something that’s under very intense discussion. What the president is trying to do is to balance the public health issues with the fact this is having an enormous impact on the economy of the country which may actually, indirectly even, cause an incredible amount of harm and difficulty, even health-wise. So it’s a delicate balancing act which the president is trying to get right. We’re under very intense discussions right now about what the most appropriate timeline is and if we do modify it, how to modify it.
Fauci then answered the question of whether his advice to the president was exclusively based on American’s health or whether consideration of the economic impact was part of his advice. He replied:
No, I don’t consider the balancing act; that is a very good question. The president has the awesome responsibility of considering every aspect of this. I just give public health advice completely clean, unconnected with anything else. He has to factor in other things. And that’s the way he operates; he takes in advice from a number of people from a number of different vantage points and then he makes his decision.
Fauci lauded President Trump for the speed with which he implemented a travel ban from China and then Europe, an action which many on the Left criticized. The very day that Trump issued his travel ban on people coming from China, former Vice President Joe Biden attacked Trump at a campaign rally, saying, ““In moments like this, this is where the credibility of a president is most needed, as he explains what we should and should not do. This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia, hysterical xenophobia, to uh, and fear mongering,”
Joe Biden opposed the China travel restrictions wisely put in place by President Trump in January – restrictions that health experts credit with slowing the spread of coronavirus & saving lives.
If Biden had been in charge, more Americans would have contracted the virus faster. pic.twitter.com/yDXRYl6lOk
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) March 12, 2020
After Trump implemented the travel ban from Europe, Biden tweeted, “A wall will not stop the coronavirus. Banning all travel from Europe — or any other part of the world — will not stop it.”
Fauci lauded Trump for his swiftness in implementing the travel bans:
It is extremely important to look at and take into very serious consideration what goes on in other countries. Every country is a bit different in some way, but we learn a lot. We learn a lot from China and we’re learning a lot from Italy. Italy has a very good health care system; Italy has a lot of very good people who are on this and they’re going through a very difficult time, so that’s one of the things that’s very concerning.
I believe Italy got into this much trouble for a number of reasons which hopefully we have avoided, namely the influx of cases from China were not shut off immediately in Italy and one of the important things that we did was the president’s decision to very early on, stop the influx, first from China, and now from Europe, particularly the countries Italy, France and others, the entire European Union. Because one of the things that feeds the country is when you have influx of cases from outside. Once they’re here, then it’s up to us to mitigate the spread throughout the country.
Host Vince Coglianese asked, “Doctor Fauci, I want to ask you about something I’ve seen transpire in the last couple of days, especially as it relates to you. It seems that increasingly, a bunch of the questions from the media are designed to create a rift between you and the president of the United states, or at least to sort of emphasize differences of opinion in a way that creates distance between you and the president. Are you sensing that as the media continually asks you questions about the differences you have with him?”
Fauci answered, “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.”
DR. FAUCI: "No, I don't consider the balancing act… the president has the awesome responsibility of considering every aspect of this. I just give public health advice completely clean, unconnected with anything else. He has to factor in other things."https://t.co/BbbG170J3p
— Vince Coglianese (@VinceCoglianese) March 24, 2020