Dr. Anthony Fauci has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for the last 36-years serving under the leadership of six U.S. presidents from Ronald Regan to Barack Obama to Donald Trump, all of whom have had differing political agendas. But his role is not that of a politician. By his own admission, he is a civil servant acting as the nation’s premiere infectious disease expert dedicated to providing the best intel on how to manage epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, and Ebola.
As part of the White House's coronavirus task force, Fauci has been both lauded and questioned by Trump, who in one moment has said or tweeted that they have a great relationship and in another is calling him "a little bit of an alarmist." Meanwhile, Fauci continues to push the ideology of social distancing, and proper hygienic practices as effective ways to combat COVID-19.
In an interview with Chris Wallace on FOX News Sunday on July 19, Trump listed several of the mistakes he lays at Fauci’s feet particularly his claim early on during the pandemic that people didn’t have to go out and purchase masks to properly protect themselves.
Trump admitted that he too has made some mistakes in handling the country’s response to COVID-19 but on Tuesday, (July 28), during a press conference at the White House, the President once again questioned Fauci, this time wondering why the American public approved of Fauci’s measures more than his own.
"It's interesting. He's got a very good approval rating. And I like that. It's good," Trump said. "Because remember, he's working for this administration. He's working with us. We could have gotten other people.”
"We could have gotten somebody else. It didn't have to be Dr. Fauci. He's working with our administration. And for the most part, we've done pretty much what he and others — Dr. [Deborah] Birx and others, who are terrific — recommended.”
"And he's got this high approval rating, so why don't I have a high approval rating with respect — and the administration — with respect to the virus?"
In an interview with BET.com’s Marc Lamont Hill, Fauci says that’s just not true.
“I haven't been wrong, period. I haven't. And, I'd be happy to go through each and every one of those,” said Fauci. “And the reason is what gets missed in this mix is that when you have an evolving situation like this outbreak, it is brand new virgin territory, uncharted water. And when you're dealing in the arena of science, you collect data and information to the extent that it's available to you.”
Watch Dr. Anthony Fauci further contradicts Trump’s claims that he misled the public in his assertations on how to combat COVID-19.
For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.