In a statement on Saturday, a White House official told CNN that “several White House officials are concerned about how many times Dr. Fauci was wrong about things.” The officer provided a long list of examples, quoted Fauci’s comments at the start of the pandemic, and linked them to previous interviews.
These key points, which resembled opposition research on a political opponent, included the early downplaying of the virus by Fauci and a quote from March when Fauci said: “People should not walk around with masks”.
The White House move comes as President Donald Trump and Fauci don’t speak. The tension between the two men has increased publicly as the two reacted to each other through interviews and statements.
“If you compare us as a country to other countries, you cannot say that we are doing well. I mean, we are simply not,”
Trump has made it his job to publicly criticize Fauci on national television.
“Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he made a lot of mistakes,” Trump said last week, undermining the public health expert that Americans say in surveys says they trust more than the president.
In recent interviews, he openly questioned the advice he received from Fauci at the start of the outbreak.
“I think we are in a good place. I disagree with him,” Trump said in an interview on Tuesday when asked about Fauci’s claim that the US was still “knee-deep in the first wave” of the pandemic.
A senior official told CNN that some White House officials do not trust Fauci. According to the source, these officials believe that Fauci is not in the President’s best interests and point to interviews in which he frankly disagrees with what Trump said.
Other government officials have told CNN that while they disagree with Fauci’s methods, they do not doubt his motives and that his only concern is public health.
“More than ever, we need people who can tell the truth of the truth to the American people about what we have to do with this pandemic, how we can control it, how we can protect ourselves and our families,” continued Ship away. “Dr. Fauci tried that, and by getting him out of the way, the President is intervening again in an effective response to this pandemic.”
Kathleen Sebelius, who served as Secretary for Health and Human Services under former President Barack Obama, said that CNN, Fauci and other scientists’ efforts to discredit are “potentially very, very dangerous” since the US and other countries are at risk Work towards the coronavirus vaccine.
“I think people want to know from the scientists that the vaccine is safe, that it is effective, that it does no more harm than good,” she told Blitzer in “The Situation Room.”
“And when public scientists have been discredited when the president says,” Don’t believe them, you can’t listen to them, they are often wrong, “we have undermined a national vaccination campaign that is an essential step in bringing this terrible time to an end. “
In response to questions about the White House that Fauci appears to be actively discrediting, Michael Caputo, deputy secretary for public health and social affairs, said there was no narrative between the White House and scientists, and made a statement.
“We have great confidence in the ability of all of our scientists and doctors in the Coronavirus Task Force to provide the necessary public health information. People like Admiral (Brett) Giroir, General Surgeon (Jerome) Adams and others are very effective in delivering these messages.” Caputo said in the statement, though he didn’t answer questions about Fauci directly.
Fauci has not returned a request for comment from CNN.
This story was updated with comments from Rep. Adam Schiff and Kathleen Sebelius.
CNN’s Kevin Liptak and Paul LeBlanc contributed to this story.