Good god! Can’t Trump keep anybody good as an advisor? It seems that virtually everyone in the Cabinet is a temporary appointee, and I can’t count the number of people who have gone through the revolving door of this administration. And forget about anybody competent, because they will almost immediately come into conflict with Trump’s ego, narcissism, and irrationality. They’re history.
Cue Dr. Anthony Fauci, a respected medical researcher, immunologist, head of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and medical advisor to six U.S. Presidents. When it comes to advice about the pandemic, the American public trusts Fauci far more than Trump. As you know, Fauci recently admitted that had action been taken by the Administration earlier, the pandemic in America would have been less serious, and (the zinger for Trump) and fewer people would have died. He’s also refused to get on board with Trump’s vaunted “impending opening of America.” Fauci himself took a while to find his feet, but in the last month or so has been a steadying and valuable influence on Americans.
But you can’t criticize Trump, even implicitly, and stay in his good graces. And so we get this new article in the Washington Post (click on screenshot):
Now it’s not clear that Trump will get rid of Fauci—that would be a SERIOUS mistake—but he’s mad because of this stuff (excerpt from the Post):
[A #FireFauci initiative launched by Republican Congressional candidate DeAnna Lorraine] followed an interview with National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases chief on CNN’s “State of the Union,” in which Fauci said a stronger early response by the administration to the outbreak “could have saved lives,” but also characterized the decision to implement social distancing guidelines as “complicated.”
“Obviously, it would have been nice if we had a better head start, but I don’t think you could say that we are where we are right now because of one factor,” Fauci said on CNN Sunday. “It’s very complicated.”
Fauci also confirmed a New York Times story saying that he and other experts had wanted to begin social and physical distancing measures as early as February.
Trump has often in the past shown his anger with critics within his own administration by retweeting the negative or taunting comments of others, sometimes marginal others like Lorraine, rather than saying anything himself. It allows him to cry “fake news” when the media interprets the retweeted material as reflecting his views.
Fauci, known for his candor but also his diplomacy, has implicitly and explicitly taken issue with Trump on several occasions. Trump demonstrated his apparently increasing irritation last week when he stepped in to stop Fauci from answering a question about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, an unproven drug the president has been touting for treatment of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Fauci has also been skeptical of Trump’s rush to set a date for lightening up on mitigation efforts to get the economy moving as the 2020 election approaches.
All this is prudent, and I’d much rather that Fauci give the pandemic briefings than Trump, who makes a show of unhinged narcissism on each such occasion. Nevertheless, Republicans have begun to call for Fauci’s ouster, and Trump is expressing his assent by retweeting what they say.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2020
We’re seeing another tantrum by the nation’s biggest baby. As the Post also reports:
In an interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace, Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, also said the U.S. would “be in a much better position” if the Trump administration had acted more quickly. That interview inspired Trump to blast the right-leaning news network and Wallace personally, calling him a “Mike Wallace wannabe,” a reference to Chris Wallace’s father, the legendary investigative broadcaster who died in 2012.
Here you go: the Big Baby acting with no gravitas, as usual:
TAPPER: The New York Times reported yesterday that you and other top officials wanted to recommend social and physical distancing guidelines to President Trump as far back as the third week of February, but the administration didn’t announce such guidelines to the American public until March 16, almost a month later. Why?
FAUCI: You know, Jake, as I have said many times, we look at it from a pure health standpoint. We make a recommendation. Often, the recommendation is taken. Sometimes, it’s not. But we — it is what it is. We are where we are right now.
TAPPER: Do you think lives could have been saved if social distancing, physical distancing, stay-at-home measures had started third week of February, instead of mid-March?
FAUCI: You know, Jake, again, it’s the what would have, what could have. It’s — it’s very difficult to go back and say that. I mean, obviously, you could logically say, that if you had a process that was ongoing, and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives. Obviously, no one is going to deny that.
But what goes into those kinds of decisions is — is complicated. But you’re right. I mean, obviously, if we had, right from the very beginning, shut everything down, it may have been a little bit different.
I don’t want Trump to fire Fauci; nobody who cares about the well-being of this country should. But if Trump does, I’d hope that that boneheaded move would seal his doom in November. But I’ve hoped that before, and even bet on it. Yet there’s still a big residuum of Americans that apparently like having a lunatic as their President.