White House economic adviser Peter Navarro cast doubt on Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in an op-ed on Wednesday, reminding the American public that Fauci has been wrong about almost everything throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
In late January, when President Trump banned travel to and from China, Fauci opposed the policy, Navarro noted.
He also told the public not to worry about the coronavirus pandemic, while other White House advisers urged the president to take the virus seriously, Navarro alleged.
“When I was working feverishly on behalf of the president in February to help engineer the fastest industrial mobilization of the health care sector in our history, Fauci was still telling the public the China virus was low risk,” Navarro wrote. “When we were building new mask capacity in record time, Fauci was flip-flopping on the use of masks.”
In short, the public should take Fauci’s advice for what it is, Navarro argued: It’s advice.
Shortly after Navarro’s op-ed was published, the White House distanced itself from his criticism of Fauci and said that Navarro’s comments had not been approved by the White House before they were published.
The Peter Navarro op-ed didn’t go through normal White House clearance processes and is the opinion of Peter alone. @realDonaldTrump values the expertise of the medical professionals advising his Administration.
— Alyssa Farah (@Alyssafarah) July 15, 2020
Asked about Navarro’s op-ed directly, Trump said that he has a “very good relationship” with Fauci.
Asked about the Navarro v Fauci fight ignited by the USA Today op-ed, Trump says, per pooler @fran_chambers, “that’s Peter Navarro, but I have a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci.”
— Philip Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) July 15, 2020
Navarro, however, isn’t the only Republican with concerns about Fauci.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., challenged Fauci back in May for acting like his opinion on the coronavirus is the “end-all.”
“I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make a decision,” Paul said. “We can listen to your advice, but there are people on the other side saying there’s not going to be a surge and that we can safely open the economy.”