Dr. Anthony Fauci criticized former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric surrounding the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, attributing it to why some people view the virus as less serious.
CNN Host Alisyn Camerota asked Fauci about Trump claiming on multiple occasions in the early months of the pandemic that “everything is under control” and if “his denial and lack of facts contributed to” the high number of deaths from COVID-19. (RELATED: MSNBC Contributor Says It’s Going To ‘Get Old’ For Biden Administration To Keep Blaming Pandemic On Trump)
“I’m uncomfortable going back and directly criticizing, but it’s really almost self evident, Alisyn, that when you’re trying to signal the country to really buckle down and address the kinds of mitigation strategies that we put forth … the kinds of things that I and many of the other public health people who were there trying to get the country to appreciate the things that we were trying to do all throughout the entire outbreak,” Fauci answered.
He continued by explaining that he hoped there would be a “uniform, unified approach” when it came to reopening the country in phases, but that “signals” from Trump indicated that things weren’t that bad and that the country was “in pretty good shape.” He then said that “was not helpful” because that gave the people “who wanted to deny” that the pandemic was serious a reason to do what they wanted.
“I still have flashing in my mind those scenes of when we were trying to tell people to really be careful and avoid congregate settings, and you see on television at night people crowded at bars, inside, no masks. I mean that was just asking for trouble. And, in fact, that’s what we got, a lot of trouble” he added.
“Would you say that that was your lowest point during this past year?” Camerota asked.
Fauci responded, saying there were “several low points” for him and that it “intellectually” pained him to plead with people to take the proper precautions to keep from spreading the virus. He noted that it was “actually painful” for him to see situations where hospitals “were almost overrun” with the lack of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds.
“And in those same regions there were people who were denying that this was going on, saying, ‘oh, it’s fake news. It’s a hoax.’ I mean, how could you possibly say that when people in your own state, your own city, your own county are dying? To me, that just boggled me, and it still does,” Fauci continued. “It still does, how reality can just be put aside in denying the seriousness of the situation we’re in. And here we are today looking at 500,000 Americans who have died thus far.”