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The nation’s top immunologist pushed back Tuesday against President Donald Trump’s suggestion he hadn’t been upfront about the coronavirus pandemic, saying he has “not been misleading the American people” at all.
In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked to respond to a post from Steve Bannon’s “War Room Pandemic” that President Trump retweeted, which claimed that the immunology expert had “misled the American public on many issues.”
“I have not been misleading the American public under any circumstances,” Fauci said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci to @GStephanopoulos: “I don't tweet. I don't even read them so I don't really want to go there. I just will continue to do my job no matter what comes out because I think it's very important.” https://t.co/JgCvhTifYS pic.twitter.com/BJGIqwSjuT
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 28, 2020
The president has also said that Fauci is “a little bit of an alarmist,” but both men have said that their relationship is “very good.”
“I don’t tweet. I don’t even read them so I don’t really want to go there,” Fauci told GMA. “I just will continue to do my job no matter what comes out because I think it’s very important.
“I’m just going to certainly continue doing my job. We’re in the middle of a crisis with regard to an epidemic, a pandemic, this is what I do, this is what I’ve been trained for my entire professional life, and I’ll continue to do it,” he added.
Fauci’s denial comes as a group of frontline doctors wraps up a two-day “White Coat Summit” in Washington, D.C., in which they announced some had successfully treated hundreds of coronavirus patients with a combination of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, Zithromax and zinc.
Dr. Stella Immanuel, a West African born and trained physician who practices in Houston said she has had 100 percent success in treating more than 350 COVID-19 patients with the drug combo, and she challenged Fauci, as well as hosts and correspondents at CNN, to take a urine test to determine if they are, in fact, taking the antimalaria.
President Trump announced in May he was taking the drug.
As for Fauci, he and the president have disagreed in the past.
In May, as the pandemic waned somewhat and states and businesses were contemplating reopening, Trump said he disagreed “totally” with the immunologist’s recommendation to keep schools closed.
“We have to get the schools open,” Trump said. “We have to get our country open. We want to do it safely, but we also want to do it as quickly as possible. We can’t keep going on like this. You’re already having bedlam in the streets. You can’t do this. I totally disagree with him on schools.
“Anthony is a good person, but I’ve disagreed with him,” the president continued. “When I closed the border to China, he disagreed with that. And then ultimately he agreed and said I saved hundreds of thousands of lives. I think that we have to open our schools.”
Earlier this month, Fauci said he had not been making any media appearances in the preceding weeks because of his “reputation” for “speaking the truth” about COVID-19, suggesting he had been muzzled by the administration.
“I have a reputation, as you probably have figured out, of speaking the truth at all times and not sugar-coating things,” he told the Financial Times. “And that may be one of the reasons why I haven’t been on television very much lately.”
Shortly thereafter, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro criticized Fauci in an op-ed for USA Today, writing that the immunologist was “wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.”
“When I warned in late January in a memo of a possibly deadly pandemic, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was telling the news media not to worry,” Navarro wrote.
“When I was working feverishly on behalf of the president in February to help engineer the fastest industrial mobilization of the health care sector in our history, Fauci was still telling the public the China virus was low risk,” he added.
“When we were building new mask capacity in record time, Fauci was flip-flopping on the use of masks.”
Navarro also hit Fauci over his skepticism about the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus.
“So when you ask me whether I listen to Dr. Fauci’s advice, my answer is: only with skepticism and caution,” Navarro concluded.
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