Dr. Fauci: 'It Became Clear That We Were In Real Trouble' With Coronavirus Mid-January
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert spoke about when he knew the coronavirus was getting serious. Fauci said, as soon as there was "community spread…then it became clear that we were in real trouble…that was towards the middle to end of January."
Juárez Hospital in Mexico City is near capacity and taking almost exclusively COVID-19 patients. Many of its critical care patients are men in their 40s with preexisting conditions like obesity, diabetes or smoking. The public battle between President Donald Trump's economic and medical advisers stretched into another day after Peter Navarro, the senior White House trade official, apparently broke protocol by publishing an opinion article trashing Dr. Anthony Fauci late.
Fauci, in his most forceful pushback to date against White House attempts to discredit him, warned his fellow administration officials a day later that they were harming the President's credibility. Speaking to The Atlantic, Fauci called White House attacks on him "bizarre" and said they ultimately damaged Trump.
"I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that," he said. "I think they realize now that that was not a prudent thing to do, because it's only reflecting negatively on them."
He was speaking as the White House worked to distance itself from Navarro's opinion piece, which contained viewpoints similar to opinions voiced by Trump himself and distributed by the White House over the weekend.
The White House communications office insisted Navarro did not clear his article through them before it was published in USA Today. Trump himself called the piece a mistake.
But the sentiment Navarro expressed -- that Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist, had been wrong on multiple occasions during the pandemic -- was the same one White House officials espoused over the weekend when they questioned his record to reporters.
Trump on Wednesday brushed off the episode in the Oval Office before taking a more forceful stance as he departed the White House for Atlanta.
"He made a statement representing himself," Trump said when questioned about the article. "He shouldn't be doing that. I have a very good relationship with Anthony."
"We're all on the same team," Trump said, "including Dr. Fauci."
Still, Trump stopped short of refuting or condemning the content of the article or detailing any recriminations for his top trade aide.
The confusing and fraught dynamic between obviously warring factions of the administration seemed to epitomize the culture of infighting that Trump has accepted and, at times, actively cultivated during his tenure in office. That it is occurring in the middle of a global pandemic has only amplified the questions of competency surrounding the administration's response to the crisis.
#Fauci Dr. Anthony Fauci delivered a grim message to senators about the response to the coronavirus pandemic. "We're going in the wrong direction, if you look at the curves of the new cases," Fauci said. (June 30) President Donald Trump rebuked Dr. Anthony Fauci's blunt assessment of the US' coronavirus response, claiming that the country is "in a good place" even as new cases surge.
"Well, I think we are in a good place. I disagree with him," Trump said to Gray Television's Greta Van Susteren, according to a transcript of the interview released Tuesday.
"Dr. Fauci said don't wear masks and now he says wear them. And he said numerous things. Don't close off China. Don't ban China. I did it anyway. I didn't listen to my experts and I banned China. We would have been in much worse shape."
"We've done a good job," the President said. "I think we are going to be in two, three, four weeks, by the time we next speak, I think we're going to be in very good shape."
The President's comments come after Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, had said Monday that the status of the coronavirus pandemic in the US is "really not good."
INFORMATION AND WE STARTED GETTING CASES HERE, IT WAS, GETTING CASES HERE, IT WAS, WELL, IT’S NOT EFFICIENTLY WELL, IT’S NOT EFFICIENTLY SPREAD FROM HUMAN-TO-HUMAN. SPREAD FROM HUMAN-TO-HUMAN. AS SOON AS IT BECAME CLEAR THAT AS SOON AS IT BECAME CLEAR THAT THERE WAS COMMUNITY SPREAD, THERE WAS COMMUNITY SPREAD, WHICH MEANS THAT IT ISN’T JUST A WHICH MEANS THAT IT ISN’T JUST A TRAVEL-RELATED CASE, THAT THERE TRAVEL-RELATED CASE, THAT THERE ARE CASES THAT ARE IN THE ARE CASES THAT ARE IN THE COMMUNITY UNDER THE RADAR COMMUNITY UNDER THE RADAR SCREEN, THEN IT BECAME CLEAR SCREEN, THEN IT BECAME CLEAR THAT WE WERE IN REAL TROUBLE. THAT WE WERE IN REAL TROUBLE. >> WHEN WAS THAT? >> WHEN WAS THAT? AROUND WHEN WAS THAT? AROUND WHEN WAS THAT? >> WELL, THAT WAS PROBABLY >> WELL, THAT WAS PROBABLY TOWARDS THE MIDDLE TO END OF TOWARDS THE MIDDLE TO END OF JANUARY. JANUARY. >> OKAY. >> OKAY. AND DID YOU BEGIN ADVISING THE AND DID YOU BEGIN ADVISING THE ADMINISTRATION AND THOSE ADMINISTRATION AND THOSE AUTHORITIES THAT WE WERE, IN AUTHORITIES THAT WE WERE, IN FACT, SEEING SOMETHING DIFFERENT FACT, SEEING SOMETHING DIFFERENT HERE AND THIS COULD BE A MAJOR HERE AND THIS COULD BE A MAJOR PROBLEM AT THAT TIME? PROBLEM AT THAT TIME? >> YOU BET. >> YOU BET. AND THEN THAT’S WHEN IT BECAME AND THEN THAT’S WHEN IT BECAME CLEAR THAT THERE ARE A COUPLE OF CLEAR THAT THERE ARE A COUPLE OF WAYS OF ADDRESSING THAT. WAYS OF ADDRESSING THAT. YOU COULD EITHER PREVENT OR TRY YOU COULD EITHER PREVENT OR TRY TO BLOCK THE INFLUX OF NEW CASES TO BLOCK THE INFLUX OF NEW CASES FROM OUT OF THE COUNTRY, AND FROM OUT OF THE COUNTRY, AND ALREADY CASES HAD COME IN FROM ALREADY CASES HAD COME IN FROM CHINA, TO TRY TO SAY, THAT’S IT, CHINA, TO TRY TO SAY, THAT’S IT, WE GOT TO STOP THAT BECAUSE NOW WE GOT TO STOP THAT BECAUSE NOW WE ALREADY HAVE CASES HERE. WE ALREADY HAVE CASES HERE. AND THEN IT SWITCHED TO EUROPE. AND THEN IT SWITCHED TO EUROPE. AND WHEN ITALY HAD THEIR AND WHEN ITALY HAD THEIR OUTBREAK, IT BECAME CLEAR THAT OUTBREAK, IT BECAME CLEAR THAT THAT BECAME A DANGER. THAT BECAME A DANGER. SO THAT’S WHEN CASES WERE CUT SO THAT’S WHEN CASES WERE CUT OFF FROM COMING IN FROM EUROPE OFF FROM COMING IN FROM EUROPE AND THEN, ULTIMATELY, THE U.K. AND THEN, ULTIMATELY, THE U.K. BUT BY THAT TIME WE HAD ENOUGH BUT BY THAT TIME WE HAD ENOUGH CASES IN OUR OWN COUNTRY THAT CASES IN OUR OWN COUNTRY THAT THE ABILITY TO DO THE THE ABILITY TO DO THE CONTAINMENT SLIPPED THEN INTO