Trump lashes out at Fauci and Birx after CNN documentary

0
35282

The former president released a fact-challenged statement criticizing the former advisers after they criticized his administration’s pandemic response.

Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump on Monday attacked Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, his administration’s top coronavirus advisers, in a highly personal — and at times inaccurate — statement released after the two criticized the administration for its response to the pandemic.

“Based on their interviews, I felt it was time to speak up about Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx, two self-promoters trying to reinvent history to cover for their bad instincts and faulty recommendations, which I fortunately almost always overturned,” Trump said. “They had bad policy decisions that would have left our country open to China and others, closed to reopening our economy, and years away from an approved vaccine — putting millions of lives at risk.”

Read MORE Article:

911 dispatcher testifies officers pinned down George Floyd for so long she thought her video feed had frozen

Trump’s statement amounted to a point-by-point rebuttal of comments from Fauci and Birx in a CNN documentary that aired Sunday, which featured former Trump health officials, some of whom were critical of the former president.https://376d1117b5fc85bfd15278946456b7a8.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Fauci said the decision “to go all out and develop a vaccine” was “the best decision that I’ve ever made with regard to an intervention as director of the institute,” referring to his role at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The agency’s vaccine research center helped develop a key component of ultimately successful shots from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.

But Fauci’s characterization drew Trump’s ire. In his statement on Monday, the ex-president called the vaccines authorized for emergency use “American vaccines,” even though the first vaccine to be authorized in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration was developed by the Turkish immigrants who founded BioNTech in Germany and later collaborated with Pfizer to bring it to market. Pfizer, which manufactures the vaccine, did not receive development money from the government.

“Dr. Fauci was incapable of pressing the FDA to move it through faster. I was the one to get it done, and even the fake news media knows and reports this,” Trump said, even though Fauci, in his capacity as NIAID director, did not have the authority to pressure the FDA to make such decisions.

Fauci also told CNN that Trump’s social media use ran counter to what the administration’s response should have been. Birx also criticized the inconsistent messaging from the federal government as “fault number one.”

“The thing that hit me like a punch to the chest was then all of a sudden he got up and says, ‘Liberate Virginia, liberate Michigan,’ and I said to myself, ‘Oh my goodness, what is going on here?’” Fauci told CNN, referring to a series of Trump tweets. “It shocked me because it was such a jolt to what we were trying to do.”

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 29: U.S. President Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listen to White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx speak in the Rose Garden for the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. The United States is advising residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut not to travel domestically after the number of reported coronavirus deaths doubled to over 2,000 nationwide within two days. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

In his statement, Trump labeled Fauci as “the king of ‘flip-flops’ and moving the goalposts to make himself look as good as possible,” while adding that he ignored the recommendations of both Fauci and Birx. Because the coronavirus was unknown to the world before late 2019, scientists and health officials fighting the pandemic frequently revised their advice as they have learned more about the virus and the disease it causes. And one official who worked inside the Trump White House said the former president’s criticisms were off the mark.

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 20 : Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, and National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci listen as President Donald J. Trump speaks with the coronavirus task force during a briefing in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Friday, March 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“Bit of revisionist history from the former president. We all had our issues with Fauci and his media marathons but very few people — including President Trump — had anything negative to say about Dr. Birx,” said the former White House official.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here