The Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease Anthony Fauci was reported in the New York Times on Sunday as suggesting that the US president didn’t always take recommendations on how to deal with the pandemic early.
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President Trump has branded the comments as “fake news” on Twitter.
He wrote: “Sorry Fake News, it’s all on tape.
“I banned China long before people spoke up”, and then thanking One America News.”
The tweet was in response to Republican DeAnna Lorraine, who said it was “time to fire Fauci” after his comments in the interview.
He then tweeted: “For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government.
“Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect.
“It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons.
“With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue.
“A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!”
The comments followed Dr Fauci’s appearance on CNN where he claimed that earlier intervention warnings were ignored.
He was asked why the administration did not act when he and other officials advised them to introduce social distancing measures.
Dr Fauci said: “You know … as I have said many times, we look at it from a pure health standpoint. We make a recommendation.
“Often, the recommendation is taken.
“Sometimes, it’s not.
“It is what it is. We are where we are right now.”
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He continued by saying that he believed that earlier intervention from the government would’ve saved lives.
“It’s very difficult to go back and say that.
“I mean, obviously, you could logically say, that if you had a process that was ongoing, and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives.
“Obviously, no one is going to deny that.
“But you’re right. I mean, obviously, if we had, right from the very beginning, shut everything down, it may have been a little bit different.
“But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then.”
President Trump has been retweeting videos and posts from supporters that show media reports in the country not taking the virus seriously.
Fox News clips featuring Sean Hannity were posted criticising The New York Times article and defending the presidents actions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
He also wrote: “The New York Times story is a Fake, just like the “paper” itself.
“I was criticised for moving too fast when I issued the China Ban, long before most others wanted to do so.
Secretary Alex Azar told me nothing until later, and Peter Navarro memo was same as Ban.”
The US has seen 587,155 cases of the virus, and 23,644 deaths.
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