President Donald Trump criticized economic adviser Peter Navarro on Wednesday, defending White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci from accusations Navarro made about his handling of the pandemic.
Navarro ripped Fauci in a USA Today op-ed arguing Fauci has been wrong on “everything” the two have worked on together over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. The White House has claimed Navarro avoided the typical approval process for administration op-eds. Trump is now defending Fauci’s handling of COVID-19 and criticized Navarro for publishing the piece. (RELATED: Peter Navarro Calls Bolton’s New Book ‘Revenge Porn’)
“Well he made a statement representing himself. He shouldn’t be doing that,” Trump said when asked about Navarro. “No, I have a very good relationship with Anthony.”
“I get along very well with Dr. Fauci,” he added. “We’re all on the same team, including Dr. Fauci.”
Navarro’s op-ed recounted a series of instances in which he and Fauci were at odds when it came to the severity of or the response to COVID-19. He argues Fauci was wrong in each instance. Navarro did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller about the op-ed and whether he had cleared it with the White House.
“When we were building new mask capacity in record time, Fauci was flip-flopping on the use of masks,” he wrote. “Now Fauci says a falling mortality rate doesn’t matter when it is the single most important statistic to help guide the pace of our economic reopening. The lower the mortality rate, the faster and more we can open.”
“When you ask me whether I listen to Dr. Fauci’s advice, my answer is: only with skepticism and caution,” he wrote.
Navarro’s spat with Fauci comes days after the latter publicly warned against allowing the falling coronavirus mortality rate to breed complacency.
“It’s a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” Fauci said July 7. “There’s so many other things that are dangerous and bad about the virus. Don’t get into false complacency.”