- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 16, 2020

Peter Navarro, the White House’s trade adviser, penned an Opposing View opinion for USA Today that included this statement: Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been wrong, wrong, wrong all along the coronavirus trail, and should be viewed with “skepticism and caution.” And now he’s fielding fire from the media. And now Fauci is raising his hands in feigned innocence fashion and calling out the White House for “bizarre” behavior.

But listen up: Fauci has indeed been wrong on the coronavirus from the get-go.

And he never should have been given a White House platform to push his wrong, wrong, wrong viewpoints in the first place.

It got to the point Fauci wasn’t just offering up his scientific view of the coronavirus, but practically dictating economic, political and social policy — in place of the president of the United States, in place of Congress, in place of governors and local governing agencies.

In place of private, free American citizens.

“Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public,” Navarro wrote, “but he has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.”

Like what?

Navarro listed: Like on closing borders to China flights. Like on telling media not to worry about COVID-19. Like flip-flopping on mask-wearing. Like warning against the use of hydroxychloroquine — even as studies showed its efficacy at fighting the coronavirus. Like scoffing at the falling mortality rate of COVID-19.

That last, in particular, is a grave mistake. A politically charged mistake, actually, given the high stakes of this November’s presidential election. 

When it comes to coronavirus numbers and figures and statistics, the one that really matters is the death count — the percentage of people who die from COVID-19 as compared to the number who survive. After all, if people are regularly testing positive for the coronavirus, but they either feel few effects or recover in rapid time — what’s the big deal?

No need to shut down the economy.

No need to shut down schools.

No need to wear face masks and issue stay-at-home and social distancing orders.


Or, as Navarro wrote: “The lower the mortality rate, the faster and more we can open.”

Yet Fauci shrugs that claim.

“It’s false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death” from the coronavirus, Fauci said, at a recent Alabama event with Democrat Sen. Doug Jones. “There’s so many other things that are dangerous and bad about the virus. Don’t get into false complacency.”

That’s ridiculous. That’s a ridiculous statement for a supposedly scientific expert to make — a scientific expert who’s supposedly in business to alert the public on deadly disease dangers. The lower death rate doesn’t count?

The death rate is all that matters here, because it’s the death rate — the threat of death — that’s been used as justification to close down an entire country’s economy.

“So when you ask me whether I listen to Dr. Fauci’s advice,” Navarro wrote, “my only answer is: only with skepticism and caution.”

And that’s how all of America should regard Fauci as well.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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