Fauci On Differing With Trump: He’s Coming From A ‘Hope Layperson Standpoint’

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 17: National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, joined by members of the Coronavirus Task Force, speaks about the coronavirus outbreak in the press briefin... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 17: National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, joined by members of the Coronavirus Task Force, speaks about the coronavirus outbreak in the press briefing room at the White House on March 17, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Trump administration is considering an $850 billion stimulus package to counter the economic fallout as the coronavirus spreads. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director and White House coronavirus task force member Anthony Fauci acknowledged his differences with President Trump in response to the coronavirus outbreak, but stopped short of criticizing him during a Sunday morning interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

When asked by CBS’ Margaret Brennan about differing from Trump in his attempt to offer medical advice — saying that a combination of two drugs, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, could possibly help with treating the coronavirus — and whether he sees a concern that those drugs could become oversubscribed, Fauci responded that’s an issue of where he and the President are coming from.

Fauci said that Trump was basing his remarks off of “anecdotal reports” to express hope that if those drugs work, it’s worth trying to push their usage.

“I, on the other side, have said I’m not disagreeing with the fact anecdotally they might work, but my job is to prove definitively from a scientific standpoint that they do work,” Fauci said. “So I was taking a purely medical, scientific standpoint and the president was trying to bring hope to the people.”

Fauci added that he disagrees with the notion that he has a fundamental difference with Trump, saying that the President was “coming from it from a hope layperson standpoint.”

Fauci echoed similar sentiments during a New York Times report Saturday evening, saying that he’s “publicly had to say something different with what [Trump] states” but added that the President is a “smart guy” who has listened to his remarks.”

“I don’t want to embarrass him. I don’t want to act like a tough guy, like I stood up to the President. I just want to get the facts out,” Fauci told the Times. “And instead of saying, ‘You’re wrong,’ all you need to do is continually talk about what the data are and what the evidence is. And he gets that. He’s a smart guy. He’s not a dummy. So he doesn’t take it — certainly up to now — he doesn’t take it in a way that I’m confronting him in any way. He takes it in a good way.”

Watch Fauci’s remarks below:

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Notable Replies

  1. Because it’s just fine to have a president lying to the public during an emergency.

  2. Fauci is saying what he needs to say in order to stay relevant - I have no problem with that.

  3. Fauci is trying to navigate between the Scylla of being a total toady and the Charybdis of being fired. Many people before him have tried and none succeeded.

  4. Hope Layperson?

    Is that who’s pressing Trump’s pants now?

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