The Daily Beast (among other sources) reported this morning (April 13) that Trump Makes First Public Rebuke of Fauci With #FireFauci Retweet.
President Trump delivered his first public rebuke of the nation’s top infectious-disease expert and a member of his coronavirus task force on Sunday evening by resharing a tweet that said “Time to #FireFauci.” DeAnna Lorraine, a Trump supporter and former congressional candidate in California, tweeted: “Fauci is now saying that had Trump listened to the medical experts earlier he could’ve saved more lives. Fauci was telling people on February 29th that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the US public at large.” Trump retweeted Lorraine and commented of her claims, “Sorry Fake News, it’s all on tape. I banned China long before people spoke up.”
Peter Baker at the NY Times has the longer version in Trump Lashes Out at Fauci Amid Criticism of Slow Virus Response. The president retweeted a post calling for the government’s top infectious disease specialist to be fired after the doctor acknowledged that shutting down the country earlier could have saved lives.
President Trump publicly signaled his frustration on Sunday with Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious disease expert, after the doctor said more lives could have been saved from the coronavirus if the country had been shut down earlier.
The message Mr. Trump retweeted came from a former Republican congressional candidate. “Fauci is now saying that had Trump listened to the medical experts earlier he could’ve saved more lives,” said the tweet by DeAnna Lorraine, who got less than 2 percent of the vote in an open primary against Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month. …
A real power house vote getter, that.
The tweet came amid a flurry of messages blasted out by the president on Sunday defending his handling of the coronavirus, which has come under sharp criticism, and pointing the finger instead at China, the World Health Organization, President Barack Obama, the nation’s governors, Congress, Democrats generally and the news media.
I think that’s a complete list.
Dr. Fauci and the president have publicly disagreed on several issues, including how long it will take to develop a vaccine and the president’s aggressive promotion of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, whose effects are unproven against the coronavirus. At a coronavirus task force briefing last week, Mr. Trump stopped Dr. Fauci from answering a question on the drug.
Dr. Fauci has become a celebrated figure among much of the public, which trusts him far more than Mr. Trump, according to polls. A Quinnipiac University survey last week found that 78 percent of Americans approved of Dr. Fauci’s handling of the crisis compared with 46 percent who approved of the president’s response. That has prompted resentment among other government officials, some of whom have privately criticized Dr. Fauci for playing to the media and not always sending consistent messages.
Mr. Trump did not “ban China,” but he did block foreign nationals who had been in China in the past 14 days from coming into the United States starting on Feb. 2. Despite the policy, 40,000 Americans and other authorized travelers have still come into the country from China since then.
… He also retweeted a post from a friendly conservative television outlet saying that the “Obama admin. repeatedly cut PPE stockpile,” referring to personal protective equipment, and “failed to replenish” it.
He did not explain why, if he thought the stockpile was inadequate, he did nothing in his three years in office to replenish it. And in none of his messages did he say why he waited to recommend social distancing measures that experts have credited with helping to stem the spread of the virus.
Jennifer Rubin at WaPo sums it up Fauci admits delays cost lives. Trumpers should, too.
Multiple news accounts have documented in excruciating detail President Trump’s months-long failure to acknowledge the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic and to take steps that might have stamped out the virus before more than 20,000 Americans died. Experts knew what was coming. Top advisers told Trump what was coming. Trump could not bring himself to believe them, for to do so would have acknowledged his reelection was at risk and his legacy headed for the historical dumpster.
Statements such as “we could have prepared” or “we could have had a robust testing system” are true but fail to capture the essence of the tragedy that has unfolded. People died who would not have if Trump had done his job.
No matter how many angry tweets Trump sends or how furiously the right wing points to China or the World Health Organization, the facts are unequivocal: Trump dawdled. Time was lost. Tens of thousands died.