Fauci: Trump Admin’s Anti-Scientific Claims About COVID ‘Very Likely’ Cost Lives

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci speaks during the daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on January 21, 2021. Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
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January 22, 2021 9:13 a.m.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser who previously served on ex-President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 task force, asserted on Friday morning that there were deadly consequences to the previous administration’s dishonesty on the pandemic.

“There’s no secret we’ve had a lot of divisiveness, we’ve had facts that were very, very clear that were questioned,” Fauci told CNN. “People were not trusting what health officials were saying. There was great divisiveness. Masking became a political issue.”

He pointed to the staggering death toll of more than 400,000 in the U.S. as the reason why the new White House has “really got to restore trust and restore a unified approach.”

“You know, it very likely did,” the health official replied when asked the Trump administration’s lack of candor and facts on COVID-19 caused deaths.

Fauci remarked that “when you’re starting to go down paths that are not based on any science at all[…]that is not helpful at all, particularly when you’re in the situation of almost being in a crisis with the number of cases and hospitalizations and deaths that we have.”

“When you start talking about things that make no sense medically and no sense scientifically, that clearly is not helpful,” the doctor said.

During a press briefing on Thursday, Fauci expressed relief over finally being allowed to provide the public with science-based information on the pandemic after the Trump administration muzzled him for months.

“The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know, what the evidence and science is, and know that’s it — let the science speak, it is somewhat of a liberating feeling,” he told reporters.

Watch Fauci’s remarks to CNN below:

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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