Does Trump plan to #FireFauci? His retweet looks like he’s thinking about it
Criticism is mounting over President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, especially after a bombshell New York Times report was released over the weekend that revealed Trump had many early warnings from several different top advisors about the severity and spread of the virus that he chose to ignore and called “alarmist.” Now, Trump is publicly lashing out at Dr. Anthony Fauci, his administration’s top infectious disease expert, in response to the criticism.
Trump retweeted a post over the weekend from a former Congressional candidate that read, “Fauci is now saying that had Trump listened to the medical experts earlier he could’ve saved more lives. Fauci was telling people on February 29th that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the US at large.” She ended the tweet with “#FireFauci.”
Alongside he retweet, Trump wrote, “Sorry Fake News, it’s all on tape. I banned China long before people spoke up.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2020
Of course, none of these accusations against Dr. Fauci are true. According to the Times report, Fauci and his team of other infectious disease experts had drafted a list of their recommended measures for the country by the third week in February. Those measures included closing schools, canceling sporting events and concerts, and stay-at-home orders. It was Trump who refused to support any of those recommendations until mid-March, and to date, the President still has not ordered any Americans to stay at home — those restrictions have come only from a patchwork of directives from state governors. Some states still have no statewide restrictions in place, particularly Trump-supporting states like Utah, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
Meanwhile, Fauci, who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984 and been Trump’s closest advisor throughout the pandemic, appeared on CNN’s State of the Union on Easter Sunday and seemed to lightly criticize the way the President ignored advice from himself and other experts in the early days of the crisis.
Fauci on CNN on the NYT report he and others advised for stronger restrictions in February: "We look at it from a pure health standpoint. We make a recommendation. Often, the recommendation is taken. Sometimes, it's not. But we — it is what it is. We are where we are right now."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 12, 2020
“I mean, obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives,” Fauci stated. “Obviously, no one is going to deny that. But what goes into those kinds of decisions is complicated. But you’re right. Obviously, if we had, right from the very beginning, shut everything down, it may have been a little bit different. But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down.”
Americans are angry, knowing that lives could have been spared if Trump acted on the coronavirus threat sooner, but the #FireFauci tweet is a bit terrifying, considering how much Trump loves ousting members of his inner circle. Currently, Dr. Fauci is the only voice of reason coming from the White House during the pandemic, and we need that more than ever.