The White House issued a statement on Monday, April 13, clarifying that President Donald Trump will not fire Dr. Anthony Fauci amid speculation from mainstream media.
Speculation that President was firing Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, ramped up on Sunday after the president retweeted a message that included the hashtag ≠FireFauci. But the White House said the president was just trying to respond to a media “falsehood” about his response to the CCP Virus (coronavirus) pandemic.
“This media chatter is ridiculous—President Trump is not firing Dr. Fauci. The President’s tweet clearly exposed media attempts to maliciously push a falsehood about his China decision in an attempt to rewrite history,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement.
“It was Democrats and the media who ignored Coronavirus choosing to focus on impeachment instead, and when they finally did comment on the virus it was to attack President Trump for taking the bold decisive action to save American lives by cutting off travel from China and from Europe. Dr. Fauci has been and remains a trusted adviser to President Trump,” Gidley added.
In a Sunday tweet, President Trump seemed to fire back at a recent New York Times report that said he played down the seriousness of the virus in January.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2020
Asked about the Times report on the president playing down the threat in an interview with CNN on Sunday, Fauci said measures such as social distancing and stay-at-home could have prevented deaths if they had been put earlier in February.
“Obviously, no one is going to deny that. But what goes into those decisions is complicated,” said Fauci. “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.”
Fauci has slammed the media in the past for attempting to create a “rift” between him and President Trump, expressing his desire for that to stop.
“The president has listened to what I’ve said and to the other people who are on the task force have said,” Fauci said. “When I’ve made recommendations, he has taken them. He has never countered, overwritten me. The idea of just pitting one against the other is not helpful. I wish that would stop and that we’d look ahead at the challenge we have to get over this thing.”