The White House is strongly pushing back on a new interview in which Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said the U.S. is in a terrible position to face the upcoming months of the pandemic.
“We’re in for a whole lot of hurt. It’s not a good situation,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Washington Post on Friday. “All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”
Fauci said the country needs to make an “abrupt change” in its public health practices and behaviors as the holiday season nears. He also said 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign “is taking it seriously from a public health perspective” while President Donald Trump is “looking at it from a different perspective,” which he said was “the economy and reopening the country.”
In a lengthy statement, White House spokesman Judd Deere called it “unacceptable and breaking with all norms for Dr. Fauci, a senior member of the President’s Coronavirus Taskforce and someone who has praised President Trump’s actions throughout this pandemic, to choose three days before an election to play politics.”
“As a member of the Task Force, Dr. Fauci has a duty to express concerns or push for a change in strategy, but he’s not done that, instead choosing to criticize the president in the media and make his political leanings known by praising the president’s opponent — exactly what the American people have come to expect from The Swamp,” Deere continued, adding that Fauci “has no confidence in the American people to make the best choice for themselves armed with CDC best practices.”