Dr. Anthony Fauci enjoys a high approval rating among Americans as he appears almost daily in the Coronavirus Response Task Force press briefings. He is a calm, measured and credible speaker with a long record of service in the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases. The nation is taking Fauci’s advice about social distancing and staying at home because the nation trusts him.
But Fauci is a scientist and a clinician, not an elected official in charge of the world’s largest economy. He is responsible for helping to slow and stop the spread of the coronavirus. He is responding from a pure health standpoint, as he says. He has no expertise regarding the economy and he has no advice to protect it from collapsing because of the measures needed to stop the virus.
The mainstream media has been looking for signs of division between Fauci and President Trump on a daily basis. They might have found what they are looking for.
Fauci and CNN’s Jake Tapper
Fauci appears on the weekly CNN coronavirus town hall to discuss the latest developments of the coronavirus pandemic.
But just a few days ago, Vice-President Mike Pence, the leader of the task force, banned Fauci, Birx and other members of the task force from appearing on CNN until the agreed to cover the entirety of the briefings. CNN claimed it only covered part of the briefings because they were too long. Pence then reversed his decision, once again allowing the other members of the task force to appear once again on CNN.
Fauci then appeared on Jake Tapper’s CNN news program where Tapper started to pursue the latest line of attack against the president. That is, that the president received warnings from health experts like Fauci several weeks before the president started talking about stay-at-home and social distancing measures to slow the virus.
Tapper wanted to know if people had died because the president was too slow to take the experts’ advice to start mitigation efforts.
Tapper asked, “Do you think lives could have been saved if we had started the mitigation measures in late February instead of mid-March? Fauci was dismissive of the “what if” question, saying it was more complicated than that.
Obviously, no one is going to deny that. But what goes into those decisions is complicated. But you’re right, I mean, obviously, if we had right from the very beginning shut everything down, it may have been a little bit different. But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then.”
Fauci appeared on news programs back in late January, saying he didn’t think Americans had to worry about the coronavirus.Watch:
President Trump weighs in
The president has shown public disapproval of Fauci’s comment in two retweets as of this writing.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2020
However, in a statement, the White House did deny that Fauci would be fired.
Dr. Fauci is not being fired by President Trump, the White House says pic.twitter.com/Zd2fUZFOjG
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 13, 2020
What is more interesting than the timing of the start of mitigation efforts is the Democrat push to get the whole country to vote-by-mail in November.
Fauci explains his comments the next day
After the media storm surrounding Fauci’s comments about “pushback” while discussing shutting down the economy and recommending “social distancing” back in February, Fauci made a public statement clarifying what he meant.
Coronavirus and the November election
Tapper followed up with a question about the November election, asking if Fauci thought Americans would be able to go to the polls. Fauci said the virus could rebound in the fall. He pointed out that if we used the tools we are using now plus medicines and treatments that will be produced between now and then, we would be much better equipped to fight the coronavirus. Since shelter-in-place and social distancing are part of those tools, one could say that Fauci, knowingly or not, is laying the groundwork for Democrats to demand vote-by-mail, which would presumably be the safest way to vote in the case of a fall “rebound” of the coronavirus.
I am not endorsing Jake Tapper, but it is important to listen to Fauci’s response to Tapper’s questions.