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Tucker Carlson continued to question infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and his impact on the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis.
The Fox News host suggested Fauci, a member of President Trump’s coronavirus task force, “seems to be a very political man” during commentary on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Friday as he spoke with a professor at Johns Hopkins University about Fauci’s performance.
(Source: Fox News)
“Ever since January, Dr. Tony Fauci has been the face of this response to the coronavirus. He’s been head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for more than 35 years, so it makes sense to trust him…He’s a perfectly nice person,” Carlson said as he kicked off the segment.
“But Dr. Fauci has said a lot over the past four months, and he’s helped formulate a lot of policies that have changed the country, so it’s fair to assess how well he’s done,” he added, introducing his guest, Dr. Marty Makary, a professor of health at Johns Hopkins University who weighed in on Fauci’s record so far.
“I agree, Tucker, he’s a very nice gentleman. He is a good laboratory virologist,” Makary replied.
“But in terms of preparing this country, he missed it. He missed this one. For two months… he never once prepared this country with anything beyond simple hygiene and basic virology lessons,” he said.
“He’s been on the media every day on every show. Never once did we hear ‘let’s get ready with more PPE, let’s build up our stockpiles, let’s stop nonessential travel, let’s get more swabs, let’s build capacity,’” the professor continued. “That was a big miss. I don’t know whether or not to blame him, because we all make mistakes, or the entire country putting their faith and stock in one doctor.”
“One doctor who, at times, seems serious but at other times seems frivolous. He gave an interview in which he was asked is it okay to have sex with strangers you meet online? He said yes, it is, it’s up to your own judgment,” Carlson said.
“Almost the same week he said don’t ever shake hands with anybody and we can’t have any more sporting events,” the Fox News host continued. “So it’s okay to have sex with strangers you meet online, but not okay to shake hands? It made me think maybe he’s not a serious as we thought he was.”
Makary recalled that Fauci said in late January, and several other times, that the outbreak was “not something the American public should worry about.”
“Remember, he is advising the White House almost every day, and for a long time everybody looked to him, even doctors, as the top authority in infectious diseases in the country,” Makary noted, citing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s call for experts and leadership in the face of the pandemic crisis.
“We need some leadership and when we put our entire faith in one doctor, that’s the problem,” he added.
Carlson noted that Fauci appeared to be a “very political man.”
“I don’t think you hold any job in Washington for 35 years without being a skilled and a ruthless political operator, I happen to know,” he said. “It does seems like it would be hard to get rid of Tony Fauci since he is such a relentless media presence. How conscious is he of the media game?”
“Remember, he served six presidents and one thing I hear which I can’t believe I hear sometimes is oh, he was afraid of getting fired that’s why he didn’t say anything.’ Well, anyone who knows how government works knows the president cannot fire him, no one can fire him,” Makary said.
“He is a career employee, he’s not a political appointee. You have to give him a three months notice and have cause. You can’t fire him, that’s not why he didn’t say anything,” he added.
Fox News host Martha MacCallum confronted Fauci last month over failed virus models that were used in determining the shutdown of the nation’s economy.
“What kind of model is so far-off that it leads us to policymaking decisions that now are having such dire consequences?” she asked as Fauci faced increasing criticism from virus-weary Americans.
Carlson also slammed Fauci in early April for his recommendation of a national stay-at-home order, saying his suggestions for social distancing over a long term “would be national suicide.”
Tucker hits faulty Fauci for suggesting ‘national suicide’ while enjoying ‘bulletproof job security’ https://t.co/SE1F9MUWE1
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 4, 2020
“Now, we’re not suggesting Fauci wants to hurt America. We don’t think he does. He seems like a very decent man. But Fauci is not an economist or for that matter someone who fears being unemployed himself,” Carlson said at the time. “Fauci has bulletproof job security. He’s not thinking that way. He has the luxury of looking at the world through the narrow lens of his profession. He doesn’t seem to think much outside that lens.”
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