Peter Navarro, White House director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, publicly declared his distrust of fellow Trump administration official Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday, penning a column condemning the infectious disease expert over his guidance amid the coronavirus pandemic.
What are the details?
In a piece published by USA Today, Navarro said of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director: “Anthony Fauci has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.”
Navarro slammed Fauci for fighting against President Donald Trump’s ban on flights from China back in January, for “telling the media not to worry” about the pandemic the same month, for “flip-flopping” on the use of masks by the public, and for insisting “that there was only anecdotal evidence in support of hydroxychloroquine to fight the virus” despite studies indicating otherwise.
The op-ed was posted as an opposing view to the USA Today’s editorial board piece arguing that “Donald Trump muzzling Dr. Anthony Fauci amid COVID-19 would be hazardous.”
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The trade adviser’s op-ed blasting Fauci comes the day after Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services, said during an interview on NBC News, “I respect Dr. Fauci a lot, but Dr. Fauci is not 100 percent right, and he also doesn’t necessarily — and he admits that — have the whole national interest in mind.”
Giroir added, “He looks at it from a very narrow public health point of view. But let me say, there is absolutely open discourse” in the administration.
Critics on social media pointed to Navarro’s op-ed as a sign of discord in the Trump administration.
CNBC reporter Christina Wilkie shared a link to the piece on Twitter, writing, “Wow. Navarro just ran his oppo dump against Dr. Fauci as an op-ed. In 10 yrs covering politics, I’ve never seen a senior WH official publish a broadside like this against a colleague.”
She added, “Where’s [White House chief of staff Mark] Meadows? This is what WH Chiefs of Staff are hired to prevent.”