Former President Donald Trump released a statement Monday saying it was “time to speak up” after Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx criticized his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in a new documentary.
Fauci and Birx made the comments in “COVID War: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out,” a documentary with Dr. Sanjay Gupta that aired on CNN Sunday night.
“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 the statement. “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.” (RELATED: ‘A Cautionary Tale’: Brianna Keilar Blames Dr. Birx For Failing To ‘Stand Up For Science’ When It Mattered)
Trump was also critical of Fauci’s pessimism regarding the time it would take to develop a vaccine. Fauci previously stated it would take a year to 18 months, CNN reported in April.
“Dr. Fauci was incapable of pressing the FDA to move it through faster,” Trump’s statement said. “I was the one to get it done, and even the fake news media knows and reports this.”
Trump criticized the speed at which Fauci and Birx were moving in their pandemic response and their overall attitude, which Trump claimed projected a sentiment of fear to the country, according to the statement. Trump claimed that if he listened to Birx and Fauci there would have been more devastating financial consequences and widespread significant mental health issues.
“Dr. Fauci is also the king of ‘flip-flops’ and moving the goalposts to make himself look as good as possible,” Trump added, claiming Fauci did not want to shut down travel from China and frequently changed his minds on the necessity of masks.
If you’re just tuning in, Dr. Fauci admitted having to ‘directly contradict’ President Trump on Covid-19, Dr. Redfield told me he was pressured to change a CDC report, and Dr. Birx said she was not able to speak frankly about the pandemic nationally. #COVIDWAR
— Dr. Sanjay Gupta (@drsanjaygupta) March 29, 2021
The former president also took swipes at Dr. Birx’s credibility. He claimed she made poor recommendations and that states that followed her advice, such as California, suffered greater than states that did not.
“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?” Trump stated. “She then, embarrassingly for her, resigned.”
“Time has proven me correct,” Trump concluded. “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!”