There’s been a lot of speculation as to why Dr. Anthony Fauci was not at Monday’s Coronavirus press briefing. Did he fall out of favor as Dr. Robert Ray Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control seems to have? Did Trump give Dr. Fauci a time-out to show his displeasure?
I don’t know why, but I get the feeling that this interview he did with “Science” on Sunday, may have had something to do with it. I thought Dr. Fauci was diplomatic and candid in answering the questions, maybe too candid for an insecure president.
Here’s two questions and answers from the interview, there are several more in the original article.
Q: What about the travel restrictions? Trump keeps saying that the travel ban for China, which began 2 February, had a big impact on slowing the spread of the virus to the United States and that he wishes China would have told us 3 to 4 months earlier and that they were “very secretive.” (China did not immediately reveal the discovery of a new coronavirus in late December 2019, but by 10 January, Chinese researchers made the sequence of the virus public.) It just doesn’t comport with facts.
A: I know, but what do you want me to do? I mean, seriously Jon, let’s get real, what do you want me to do?
Q: Most everyone thinks that you’re doing a remarkable job, but you’re standing there as the representative of truth and facts, and things are being said that aren’t true and aren’t factual.
A: The way it happened is that after he made that statement [suggesting China could have revealed the discovery of a new coronavirus 3 to 4 months earlier], I told the appropriate people, it doesn’t comport, because 2 or 3 months earlier would have been September. The next time they sit down with him and talk about what he’s going to say, they will say, “By the way, Mr. President, be careful about this and don’t say that.” But I can’t jump in front of the microphone and push him down. OK, he said it. Let’s try and get it corrected for the next time.
More Q&A at the Science Magazine.
When asked about Dr. Fauci, Trump said “He’s a good man. I like Dr. Fauci a lot,” Trump told reporters when asked why Fauci was not at Monday’s briefing. “He’ll be back up soon.”