Fauci says White House’s ‘bizarre’ efforts to discredit him hurt Trump, adds Peter Navarro is ‘in a world by himself’

FAN Editor

Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro speaks to members of the press outside the West Wing of the White House June 18, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong | Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci said that he has not considered resigning from his lead role in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and said the “bizarre” recent efforts from White House officials to discredit him ultimately harm President Donald Trump.

“I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that,” Fauci said in an interview with The Atlantic published Wednesday. Fauci was responding to a list shared over the weekend by a White House official that resembled an opposition research-type document used in political campaigns, highlighting Fauci’s past comments about the virus.

“I think they realize now that that was not a prudent thing to do, because it’s only reflecting negatively on them,” Fauci told The Atlantic.

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, also included some harsh words for Trump’s trade advisor: “I can’t explain Peter Navarro; he’s in a world by himself. So I don’t even want to go there.”

The Atlantic said its report comprised two interviews with Fauci over the past 24 hours. It was unclear if Fauci’s slight against Navarro was in reference to the trade aide’s scathing op-ed published Tuesday night, which said Fauci “has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.”

The White House said earlier Wednesday that it had not approved Navarro’s article.

The op-ed by Navarro, which was published in USA Today, “didn’t go through normal White House clearance processes,” White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said on Twitter.

The piece is “the opinion of Peter alone,” Farah said in the tweet, adding that Trump “values the expertise of the medical professionals advising his Administration.”

Trump, when asked in the Oval Office later Wednesday if he was OK with the piece, said, “That’s Peter Navarro, but I have a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci.”

The administration’s efforts to distance itself from Navarro’s article came days after the White House denied it is seeking to discredit Fauci, who has provided sometimes dire warnings about the trajectory of the coronavirus that clash with Trump’s more optimistic rhetoric.

“To the notion that there’s opposition research and that there’s Fauci versus the president, it couldn’t be further from the truth,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at a press briefing Monday. “Dr. Fauci and the president have always had a very good working relationship.”

Trump said Monday that while “I don’t always agree with” Fauci, “we get along very well, I like him personally.”

But other White House officials have taken shots at Fauci in recent days. 

Over the weekend, Trump’s close aide Dan Scavino reportedly shared a political cartoon mocking Fauci by portraying him as a faucet whose spout drips alarming messages about the pandemic — such as “Schools stay closed this fall!” and “Indefinite lockdown!” — that threaten to drown the economy.

“Sorry, Dr. Faucet! At least you know if I’m going to disagree with a colleague, such as yourself, it’s done publicly — and not cowardly, behind journalists with leaks,” Scavino wrote on Facebook alongside the post. “See you tomorrow!”

Navarro writes in his USA Today article that Fauci “has a good bedside manner with the public, but he has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.”

The trade advisor accuses Fauci of having “fought against the president’s courageous decision” in late January to restrict travel to the U.S. from China, and for downplaying the risk of a possible pandemic when the virus first started to emerge. 

“Now Fauci says a falling mortality rate doesn’t matter when it is the single most important statistic to help guide the pace of our economic reopening,” Navarro wrote. Administration officials including Trump have recently pointed out that the mortality rate has not increased in line with the surge of cases currently being experienced in a number of Southern and Western states. “The lower the mortality rate, the faster and more we can open,” Navarro wrote.

“So when you ask me whether I listen to Dr. Fauci’s advice, my answer is: only with skepticism and caution,” Navarro said.

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.

Free America Network Articles

Leave a Reply

Next Post

Trump rules out additional sanctions on top Chinese officials for now: Bloomberg News

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks aboutefforts to capture MS-13 leaders during a law enforcement briefing in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 15, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria July 15, 2020 WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump has not ruled out additional sanctions on […]