White House Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro unleashed an op-ed on Wednesday criticizing Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“So when you ask me whether I listen to Dr. Fauci’s advice, my answer is: only with skepticism and caution,” Navarro concluded after detailing a list of his concerns with Fauci in an op-ed titled “Anthony Fauci Has Been Wrong About Everything I Have Interacted with Him On” in USA Today.
Navarro wrote that he pushed the president to take the coronavirus threat seriously and level a travel ban on flights from China in January.
“Fauci fought against the president’s courageous decision — which might well have saved hundreds of thousands of American lives,” Navarro wrote.
Navarro said Fauci also told the news media in January “not to worry” about a possible pandemic and described the virus threat as “low risk.”
“When we were building new mask capacity in record time, Fauci was flip-flopping on the use of masks,” he wrote, referring to the doctor’s recommendation not to wear masks at the beginning of the pandemic.
Navarro also challenged Fauci for dismissing hydroxychloroquine as a way to fight the virus despite scientific studies showing its success.
It appears Fauci’s dismissal of the falling mortality rate was the last straw for Navarro.
“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,” he wrote. “The lower the mortality rate, the faster and more we can open.”
President Trump has gently increased his criticism of Fauci, despite repeating he has a good relationship with the doctor.
“Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes,” Trump said in an interview with Sean Hannity on Friday.
On Monday, Trump told reporters although he had a “very good relationship” with Dr. Fauci, “I don’t always agree with him.”
The White House on Monday denied the White House was trying to undermine Fauci, as the doctor escalated his criticism of the country’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“To the notion that there’s opposition research and that there’s Fauci vs. the president couldn’t be further from the truth,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a press briefing on Monday. “Dr. Fauci and the president have always had a good working relationship.”