- President Donald Trump called top US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci “a little bit of an alarmist” in his response to the coronavirus outbreaks in the US.
- Fauci, who also serves on the White House coronavirus task force, said the development of the coronavirus pandemic has turned into his “worst nightmare.”
- Trump said Fauci, like other public health experts including CDC director Robert Redfield, has “made some mistakes” amid the pandemic.
- As coronavirus cases surge to record-highs across the US, Trump said he believes it is due to the increased testing in the country and that “many of those cases are young people that would heal in a day.”
- While the median ages for confirmed cases are dropping as young people start to make up a greater percentage of infections, they still have the potential to become severe cases and the ability to spread the infection to others.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump called infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci “a little bit of an alarmist” after his stark assessment of coronavirus outbreaks in the US.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and also serves on the White House coronavirus task force, said the development of the coronavirus pandemic has turned into his “worst nightmare.”
Trump, on the other hand, pushed back on Fauci’s evaluation of the coronavirus pandemic during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
After the White House claimed it wasn’t trying to diminish Fauci’s credibility as an expert, Dan Scavino, one of the president’s top aides, shared a cartoon mocking Fauci and depicting him as a faucet who is “leaking” information to journalists and drowning the US economy.
Trump seemingly agreed with the message of the illustration, telling Fox News host Chris Wallace “he’s a little bit of an alarmist.” The president reiterated the health expert has “made some mistakes,” including his initial recommendation that people should not wear masks at the beginning of the pandemic.
Fauci is now an avid mask-wearer himself and urges Americans to do the same. He later explained the reasoning behind his previous suggestion was to prevent panic-buying of surgical N-95 masks to reserve their use for medical professionals at the front lines of the virus.
Hospital staff treating coronavirus patients reported in April they were facing a shortage due to the lack of supply in the national stockpile, with some resorting to reusing their masks as they treated hundreds of patients per day.
Health and Human Services Department documents obtained by NBC News last week said hospitals are likely to fall back into a similar situation of PPE shortages as cases are once again on the rise in the US, with some states reporting record-high daily increases in confirmed infections since the beginning of the pandemic.
During the “Fox News Sunday” interview, the president again insisted the surges in new coronavirus cases were due to the increased testing in the country.
“Cases are up because we have the best testing in the world,” Trump said. “No country has ever done what we have done in terms of testing. We are the envy of the world.”
He added that “many of those cases shouldn’t even be cases,” as “many of those cases are young people that would heal in a day.”
“They have the sniffles, and we put it down as a test,” Trump continued. “And in many cases, they are going to get better very quickly.”
While the median ages for confirmed cases are dropping as young people start to make up a greater percentage of infections, they still have the potential to become severe cases and the ability to infect others.