Former acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on Monday said that while he likes Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious diseases expert’s record during the coronavirus pandemic isn’t blemish-free.
“It’s tough. I really admire Dr. Fauci, but I was also one of the persons he told to go on television and tell people not to wear masks,” Mr. Mulvaney said on CNBC.
He also said other information, such as about the asymptomatic spread of the virus, was “not entirely right.”
“It’s tough when you don’t have credibility to work with the president of the United States — I think that’s a fair concern to have,” Mr. Mulvaney said. “If you’ve been wrong a couple times, it makes somebody wonder if you’re wrong again — that’s only human nature.”
Mr. Mulvaney’s comments came after President Trump broke publicly with Dr. Fauci last week on the state of the pandemic and as the White House has quietly called into question some of Dr. Fauci’s past proclamations about the coronavirus.
“I respect Dr. Fauci a lot, but Dr. Fauci is not 100 percent right,” Adm. Brett Giroir, the Trump administration’s testing czar, said Sunday on ABC.
“He also doesn’t necessarily — and he admits that — have the whole national interest in mind. He looks at it from a very narrow public health point of view,” Adm. Giroir said.
Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Financial Times in an interview published last week that he hadn’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.
Last month, the president questioned why he and other members of his administration weren’t getting the same kind of high marks for their coronavirus response compared to Dr. Fauci.
The president said they did a “great job” on the coronavirus response, citing the travel ban from China, ventilator production and testing.
“We saved millions of U.S. lives.! Yet the Fake News refuses to acknowledge this in a positive way,” the president said on Twitter.
“But they do give…Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is with us in all ways, a very high 72% Approval Rating,” Mr. Trump said. “So, if he is in charge along with V.P. etc., and with us doing all of these really good things, why doesn’t the Lamestream Media treat us as they should? Answer: Because they are Fake News!”