President Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, launched an attack on Anthony Fauci in a scathing opinion piece on USA Today.
In the article, Peter Navarro attacked the infectious disease expert for having made mistakes in handling the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the criticism, the White House has denied that Fauci has been sidelined. President Trump has additionally issued a rebuke of Peter Navarro’s opinion piece.
Anthony Fauci has become an immensely trusted and popular figure in the US during the coronavirus pandemic.
Fauci has also been criticized by President Trump and some of his Republican allies including when Fauci cautioned against the reopening of the US economy too early.
US states that loosened coronavirus restrictions early are now facing an uptick in new Covid-19 infections.
This latest development has caused clashes between the infectious disease expert and the White House.
In response to the White House criticism, Fauci urged an end to the divisiveness over the US’ response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying "let's stop this nonsense."
"One of the things that's part of the problem is the dynamics of the divisiveness that is going on now that it becomes difficult to engage in a dialogue of honest evaluation of what's gone right and what's gone wrong," Fauci told The Atlantic in an interview.
"We've got to own this, reset this and say OK, let's stop this nonsense and figure out how can we get our control over this now."
The White House over the weekend distributed a list of statements Fauci made early in the pandemic that turned out to be wrong as an understanding of the disease developed, according to media reports.
Trump said this week he valued Fauci's input but did not always agree with him.
"You know, it is a bit bizarre. I don't really fully understand it," Fauci said in an interview with The Atlantic.
He said he believed the people involved in releasing that list, which was misleading because it did not include the entirety of Fauci's statements or other context, are really "taken aback by what a big mistake that was."
White House tensions with Fauci have risen with the decline of Trump’s popularity in opinion polls over the president’s handling of the outbreak.
The Republican president, who is seeking re-election in November, has been increasingly critical of government health officials and their guidance as a rise in infections threatens the easing of shutdown restrictions across the country.
Across the country, new cases are now averaging around 60,000 a day.
Before departing for a trip to Atlanta, Trump was asked whether Navarro had gone rogue.
"Well he made a statement representing himself. He shouldn't be doing that. No, I have a very good relationship with Anthony," Trump said.
Fauci told The Atlantic: "I can't explain Peter Navarro. He's in a world by himself. So I don't even want to go there."
Fauci said in a Financial Times interview last week he had not briefed Trump in two months.
He said on Wednesday his advice is passed onto Trump indirectly, via Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the White House coronavirus task force.
In his Atlantic interview, Fauci recommended the country hit a reset button and acknowledge that things are not going in the right direction.
The rising numbers of coronavirus infections show "we've got to do better" and states need to get on the same page and work on ways to control the virus.
"So, rather than these games people are playing, let's focus on that," Fauci said.
(Writer: Doina Chiacu | Editor: Steve Orlofsky, Howard Goller)https://t.me/kompascomupdate, kemudian join. Anda harus install aplikasi Telegram terlebih dulu di ponsel.