Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir said on Tuesday that the nation’s health experts do not lie to the public, contrary to claims by President Donald Trump this week that implied the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and others, have lied in relaying critical information about the pandemic’s impact in the United States.
When asked whether the experts aren’t telling the truth, Giroir who is a prominent member of the White House coronavirus task force told the “Today Show” on Tuesday that while mistakes have been made, “none of us lie.” He added public guidance is updated as more is learned about the novel coronavirus.
“We are completely transparent with the American people,” Giroir said.
The assistant health secretary’s comments come just one day after President Trump shared a tweet from a former game show host Chuck Woolery who baselessly accused the government’s medical experts of “lying” about the virus.
On Sunday, Giroir told ABC News that while the percent positive is declining again, the country is “not out of this at all,” and said “we’re all very concerned” despite the President’s attempts to downplay the seriousness of the virus’ impact.
In recent weeks, the Trump administration has strayed away from the wisdom of many of its own scientists and health experts, as it pushes much of the coronavirus response onto state governors who have fared with varying success.
Over the weekend, a White House memo smearing Fauci sent to media outlets claimed that “several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr Fauci has been wrong on things,” citing a list that included the health expert’s changing attitude about the need to wear face masks.
The President’s tweet followed a series of earlier attempts made by the President to discredit the conclusions drawn by Fauci and others regarding the lingering dangers of COVID-19 spread, as outbreaks soar in Sun Belt states and other hotspots around the country. Trump told Sean Hannity on Thursday that while Fauci “is a nice man” the long time disease expert “made a lot of mistakes.”
On Monday, Trump adviser Peter Navarro told CBS News that he listens to the advice of Fauci “only with caution.”
Fauci, who said he has not had direct contact with the President in more than five weeks, told The Financial Times in an interview published on Friday, that one of the reasons he is seldom seen in press conferences in recent weeks is probably due to him “not sugar-coating things” amid the bleak reality of the country’s bungled response to the coronavirus crisis.