Dr. Anthony Fauci’s assessments during the COVID-19 pandemic are made from a public health standpoint and don’t necessarily take into account issues from other perspectives, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on July 13.
“Dr. Fauci represents one viewpoint within the administration, and he looks at things from a public health standpoint, whereas you have other folks, like Dr. McCance-Katz, who looks at the consequences of staying closed, psychologically what that does to society, with drug overdoses and suicides that we’ve seen increase,” McEnany said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
“The point of the task force is to be a whole of government look at what is best for this country.”
Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, the assistant secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, is one of a number officials on the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
The task force recommendations take into account opinions from each member and are taken to President Donald Trump, his press secretary said, adding: “So Dr. Fauci’s one member of a team, but rest assured his viewpoint is represented and the information gets to the president through the task force.”
Fauci directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. His public statements, including frequent television appearances, sometimes appear out of sync with other public health officials.
McEnany’s comments came after a host wondered about the Trump administration disparaging Fauci.
“I respect Dr. Fauci a lot, but Dr. Fauci is not 100 percent right, and he also doesn’t necessarily, he admits that, have the whole national interest in mind,” Adm. Brett Giroir, an assistant secretary in the Department of Health, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“He looks at it from a very narrow public health point of view. But let me just say there is absolutely open discourse.”
Giroir said members of the task force meet three or four times a week and hold open, honest discussions, and Vice President Mike Pence briefs Trump on a daily basis on the meetings.
Peter Navarro, a trade adviser, also took a swipe at Fauci, claiming in a statement to the Washington Post that the doctor “has a good bedside manner with the public but he has been wrong about everything I have ever interacted with him on.”
“A lot of them said ‘Don’t wear a mask, don’t wear a mask,’” the president told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “Now they are saying wear a mask. A lot of mistakes were made, a lot of mistakes.”
“I’m trying to figure out where the president got that number,“ Fauci told the Financial Times. ”What I think happened is that someone told him that the general mortality is about 1 per cent. And he interpreted, therefore, that 99 percent is not a problem, when that’s obviously not the case.”