President Trump’s advisors anonymously voted the country’s best infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, undercut Providing various details to various news agencies about statements he made at the start of the coronavirus outbreak that were described as inaccurate.
The step, Dr. Treating Fauci, who has headed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for decades, as if he was a belligerent political rival, came as his concerns about the national increase in coronavirus cases grew increasingly loud as his lack of access to Mr. Trump in recent weeks. It was accompanied by more moderate public criticism from administrative officials, including the president.
Aides to Mr. Trump first published to the Washington Post, what the newspaper called a “long list” of comments Dr. Fauci had done about the virus when it was at an early stage. This list contained several comments from Dr. Fauci, about whom the White House staff had complained privately for months, including one in February, where he minimized the likelihood of asymptomatic spread and said people didn’t need to make any major changes to their lives.
An official informed the post office that several other officials were concerned about how often Dr. Fauci was wrong.
For example, White House officials in an interview on February 29 pointed to a statement by Dr. Fauci pointed out that “at the moment there is no need to change what you do every day”. But they left out a warning, which he delivered immediately afterwards.
“The risk is still low at the moment, but that could change,” he said in the interview conducted by NBC News. “If you start to see the spread of the community, it could change and force you to become a lot more attentive if you do things that prevent you from spreading.”
In the same interview, Dr. Fauci also said that the coronavirus could become “a serious outbreak”.
The list of statements made in the style of a campaign’s opposition research document was later published in several news agencies. It was an extraordinary step for the White House to provide news organizations with such a document about a health official who works for the administration and maintains a high level of public trust.
Dr. Fauci declined to comment. A White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity insisted that the government not try to To discredit Fauci, who was recognized as an expert but reminded the public of his records and should listen to a number of doctors.
A survey conducted by Siena College for the New York Times last month found that 67 percent of Americans Fauci trusted when it came to the virus. Only 26 percent trusted the president.
Because the United States is by far the world leader in both cases and deaths, Dr. Fauci has recently become more open in interviews about his concerns about the virus, although Mr Trump has tried to push for a faster reopening of states to withhold federal funds from school districts if they don’t reopen in the fall.
In a podcast interview with FiveThirtyEight.com last week, Dr. Fauci that some states have the virus under control, but that “as a country, if you compare us to other countries, I don’t think you can tell us that I’m fine, I mean, we just aren’t. “
In contrast, Mr. Trump tried to downplay the threat with almost no interruption while making false claims about how quickly and effectively his administration responded to it.
White House officials would not speak for the recording. However, a senior government official said that the document made available to Swiss Post should reduce the belief that the administration would be negligent if it did not always contact Dr. Keep Fauci’s words. The official argued that people who did not like Mr. Trump outside of the administration, Dr. Faucis voice would have given an oversized value.
And in a White House that handles almost everything related to Mr. Trump, the frustration of employees with Dr. Fauci high for months.
Last week, Mr. Trump told Fox News that Dr. Fauci was wrong about many aspects of the pandemic. Dr. Fauci “is a nice man, but he made a lot of mistakes,” said the president.
Despite the claims at the beginning of the fight against the virus that they enjoyed each other, Mr. Trump has Dr. Fauci was privately rejected for a long time, according to White House officials, taking note of the time he spent on TV and TV when the doctor contradicted him at press conferences. Mr. Trump became frustrated with Dr. Fauci when he raised concerns about the effectiveness of using hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, to treat people with the coronavirus. Mr. Trump has continued to evangelize to support the drug, even after the Food and Drug Administration has withdrawn an emergency permit that allows it to be used in coronavirus cases.
The President’s advisors have repeated and sometimes amplified Mr. Trump’s frustrations.
“DR. Fauci is not 100 percent right, and he does not necessarily have – and he admits – the whole national interest,” said Adm. Brett P. Giroir, deputy secretary for health and human services, in one Interview that aired on Sunday on the NBC’s Meet the Press program, “He’s looking at it from a very narrow public health perspective.”
Pam Belluck and Noah Weiland contributed to the reporting.