Former President Trump slammed two of his administration’s coronavirus task force members, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx in a lengthy statement Monday evening as “two self-promoters trying to reinvent history” following the televised interview where both faulted the former administration response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Based on their interviews, I felt it was time to speak up about Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx, two self-promoters trying to reinvent history to cover for their bad instincts and faulty recommendations, which I fortunately almost always overturned,” Trump said in a statement released from the Office of 45. “They had bad policy decisions that would have left our country open to China and others, closed to reopening our economy, and years away from an approved vaccine — putting millions of lives at risk.”
In the CNN documentary special, “COVID WAR: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out” that aired Sunday, Fauci took full credit for the development of the COVID vaccine, saying it was the “best decision” he has ever made. However, the top infectious doctor in his remarks never mentioned or gave credit to the former president and his efforts with Operation Warp Speed who cultivate the conditions for the creation of a COVID vaccine in record time.
Trump announced in May the launch of Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership federal effort to develop, manufacture and distribute the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus by the end of the year. However, in the CNN interview, Fauci claims the decision to go “all-out” regarding the vaccine development was made months earlier.
In response, Trump labeled Fauci as “the king of ‘flip-flops,’” as he slammed the infectious doctor for attempting to take credit during the “fake interview” and mocked his first pitch at the Washington Nationals game last year.
“In a fake interview last night on CNN, Dr. Fauci, who said he was an athlete in college but couldn’t throw a baseball even close to home plate, it was a ‘roller,’ tried to take credit for the vaccine, when in fact he said it would take three to five years, and probably longer, to have it approved,” Trump said. “Dr. Fauci was incapable of pressing the FDA to move it through faster. I was the one to get it done, and even the fake news media knows and reports this.”
“Dr. Fauci is also the king of “flip-flops” and moving the goalposts to make himself look as good as possible. He fought me so hard because he wanted to keep our country open to countries like China,” Trump added.
The former president targeted Birx in the lengthy statement, saving his sharpest criticisms for the former White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator who he called a “terrible medical advisor” and “a proven liar with very little credibility left.”
Trump also took a swipe at Birx for getting caught traveling for Thanksgiving to see her family despite emphasizing guidance to avoid nonessential travel.
“Her motto should be “Do as I say, not as I do.” Who can forget when Dr. Birx gave a huge mandate to the people of our Nation to not travel, and then traveled a great distance to see her family for Thanksgiving—only to have them call the police and turn her in? She then, embarrassingly for her, resigned,” Trump said.
During the CNN special, Birx described a “very uncomfortable” phone call she had with Trump last August following a CNN interview where she warned that the US was “in a new phase” of the pandemic and the severity of COVID was “extraordinarily widespread.”
“It was a CNN report in August that got horrible pushback. That was a very difficult time because everybody in the White House was upset with that interview and the clarity that I brought about the epidemic,” Birx said during the CNN special. “I got called by the president. It was very uncomfortable, very direct, and very difficult to hear.”
Trump denied Birx’s claims that there was a “very difficult” phone call, saying the only thing difficult was her “policies that would have led us directly into a COVID caused depression.”
“There was no ‘very difficult’ phone call, other than Dr. Birx’s policies that would have led us directly into a COVID caused depression. She was a very negative voice who didn’t have the right answers. Time has proven me correct. I only kept Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx on because they worked for the U.S. government for so long—they are like a bad habit!” Trump said.
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows also slammed both medical experts before Trump’s statement, calling the doctors’ accounts “revisionist” and “disingenuous.”
“What we heard last night on CNN was rhetoric we never heard in the West Wing from Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx,” Meadows said on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast on Monday. “They were never held back from going public. In fact, most of the time, Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci both would agree publicly — and they have stated so publicly — that the president did everything that they asked him to do.”
“But what is also alarming is to have this revisionist type of program last night to suggest that there was something different that should have been done when they were actually in the room helping make the decisions. In fact, if anything, for those kinds of comments to come out last night, it was not only alarming but just very disingenuous to suggest that the president was pushing back,” Meadows added.