- The Washington Times - Friday, July 10, 2020

President Trump on Thursday described Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious diseases expert, as a “nice man” who’s “made a lot of mistakes.”

“Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

“Like you don’t have to ban [people] from coming in from very infected China — I did it anyway. We saved hundreds of thousands of lives,” the president said. “I banned Europe from coming in when Italy and when France and when Spain were having all the problems. … We saved hundreds of thousands of lives. A lot of people said don’t do it.”

“They’ve been wrong about a lot of things, including face masks. Maybe they’re wrong, maybe not, but a lot of them said don’t wear a mask, don’t wear a mask,” the president said. “Now they are saying wear a mask. So a lot of mistakes were made — a lot of mistakes.”

Many health experts had discouraged the general public from wearing a mask during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, reasoning that the supplies should be saved for frontline health workers.

Mr. Trump had said earlier this week his disagreed with Dr. Fauci after the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases had said the U.S. is still “knee-deep” in the first wave of coronavirus infections.

Dr. Fauci told the Financial Times in a newly published interview that he hasn’t briefed the president for at least two months and that he last saw Mr. Trump in person in the White House on June 2.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not answer directly earlier this week when asked if Mr. Trump still has confidence in Dr. Fauci.

There are now more than 3.1 million coronavirus cases in the U.S. and more than 133,000 coronavirus-related deaths as states across the South and West see a spike in new cases.

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