Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is a central figure in the fight against the coronavirus and found himself at the center of a media-generated controversy.
With Vice President Mike Pence taking control of the flow of information, the New York Times reported Fauci “told associates that the White House had instructed him not to say anything else without clearance.”
At a news conference, President Trump was asked about the claim that Fauci was “muzzled.”
“That’s a very dishonest question,” Trump said. “Because he has had that ability to do virtually whatever he’s wanted to do. He was never muzzled.”
The president then stepped aside to allow the world-renowned expert on contagious diseases to speak to the controversy himself.
“Let me clarify. I have never been muzzled. Ever,” Dr. Fauci insisted. “I’ve been doing this since the administration of Ronald Reagan. I’m not being muzzled by this administration. What happened, which was misinterpreted, was we were set up to go on some shows. When the vice president took over he said let’s regroup and figure out how we will be communicating.”
“I had to stand down on a couple of shows and resubmit for clearance,” he continued. “When I resubmitted for clearance, I got cleared. I have not been muzzled at all. That was a real misrepresentation of what happened.”
Fauci was also asked about this during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Hard Ball.”
Citing the New York Times, anchor Chris Matthews asked, “Are you operating under normal clearance or procedures for getting out public health information?”
“That was completely misconstrued, I’m not being muzzled,” he said. “Everybody who gets on shows like this, you have a normal clearance. I was cleared here, and here I am talking to you and I’ll give you the whole truth the way I always have.”
Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume posted a tweet sharing Fauci’s remarks on the trumped-up controversy.
He tweeted: “Dr. Anthony Fauci at the WH this afternoon: ‘I have not been muzzled at all. That was a real misrepresentation of what happened.'”
Dr. Anthony Fauci at the WH this afternoon: “I have not been muzzled at all. That was a real misrepresentation of what happened.”
— Brit Hume (@brithume) February 29, 2020
The responses to Hume and other tweets on the matter captures just how deranged some people are in their hatred of Donald Trump.
Not muzzled just told not to talk to anyone about coronavirus without asking permission from Pence. #TrumpLiesAboutCoronavirus
— Eliza (@CatandCakeLover) February 29, 2020
He only had to “stand down…”
So, no muzzle. Just a short leash.
— Scott Kraft (@wafflepop) February 29, 2020
No one claimed he was muzzled – what was said that his appearances on the Sunday talk shows were cancelled and Pence ( a science denier) will go in his place.
— Rheta Dorr (@Rheta_Dorr) February 29, 2020
It’s what he must say, not what he can’t say. All must praise the Dear Leader.
— Terry Whitesell (@TerryWhitesell) February 29, 2020
“I’m not being muzzled.” That’s exactly what Trump and Pence want him to say. Perfectly played, Dr. Fauci. #BananaRepublic
— ???? Name is Bishop? (@BishesBrew) February 29, 2020
Aren’t all hostage videos like that?
— Jeff Bishop (@xrlq) February 29, 2020
On the other hand, as many in the media politicize the coronavirus in their quest to harm Trump, is it really all that surprising?
It wasn’t misinterpreted, it was intentionally lied about by a press and opposing party that will sacrifice this nations health, economy and wellbeing to take power.
— Sol Roth (@RedeyesXBL) February 29, 2020
Our media such ?.
— Christina Text TRUMP to 88022 ?????? (@Christi70120201) February 29, 2020
You mean the media was dishonest again. Knock me over with a feather.
— Gurgun (@Gurgun1989) February 29, 2020
Every time the journos open their mouth is an activism moment. How can we ever trust them again
— Respect (@Tweeterbird947) February 29, 2020
Misrepresentation means lies. MSM is a disgrace.
— Spaulding Showalter (@spauldingshowal) February 29, 2020
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