Tensions between the White House and Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, are spilling into the open as officials openly attack the doctor for his public health advice during the coronavirus pandemic.
Fauci’s advice has often run contrary to President Trump’s views, and the attacks on Fauci have begun to look like a traditional negative political campaign against an opponent. Yet this time, the opponent is a public health expert and career civil servant working within the administration.
Dan Scavino, deputy chief of staff for communications, shared a cartoon on his Facebook page late Sunday that depicted Fauci as a faucet flushing the U.S. economy down the drain with overzealous health guidance to slow the spread of the pandemic.
The cartoon, which shows Fauci declaring schools should remain closed and calling for “indefinite lockdowns,” did not accurately portray what Fauci has advised in public.
Adm. Brett Giroir, the administration’s testing czar, downplayed any riff within the White House coronavirus task force before offering some criticism of Fauci.
“I respect Dr. Fauci a lot, but Dr. Fauci is not 100 percent right and he also doesn’t necessarily, and he admits that, have the whole national interest in mind,” Giroir told “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “He looks at it from a very narrow public health point of view.”