Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Monday threw his support behind Dr. Anthony Fauci following recent efforts by the White House to discredit the infectious disease expert.
In a USA Today op-ed published Monday, Hogan recalled the difficulty he experienced while trying to get a hold of Trump and Pence as his state emerged as a coronavirus hotspot at the beginning of the outbreak in March.
However, the Maryland governor claimed that top health experts such as Fauci were more responsive to his state’s coronavirus-related needs. Hogan recalled how he spent the first weekend of April on the phone with Fauci, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health; Assistant Health Secretary Adm. Brett Giroir; Defense Secretary Mark Esper; and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy.
Hogan wrote that Fauci, specifically, vowed to speak with his fellow White House coronavirus task force members soon after their call.
“And Dr. Fauci never let me or the people of Maryland down,” Hogan wrote. “I shudder to think where our country would be today without him.”
Hogan then argued that health experts like Fauci provide a “clear-eyed view of the evidence as we know it at the time — even if we don’t always want to hear it” amid surging cases of COVID-19 throughout the country.
“With some states experiencing massive spikes, we need to know the science to help contain the spread,” Hogan wrote. “As the public experiences fatigue from months of social distancing, we need steady and reliable voices who can remind us to stay vigilant.”
Hogan doubled down on his defense of Fauci by pointing out that the country needs him “more than ever” as schools begin to navigate reopening in the fall safely and will need the guidance of public health experts to do so.
Hogan’s op-ed was published a day after Trump maintained that he has a good relationship with Fauci, despite how he feels that the top infectious diseases expert can be “a little bit of an alarmist,” during a lengthy Fox News interview that aired Sunday morning.
The President’s interview on Fox News came amid reports of an unnamed White House official sending news outlets a list of Fauci’s past remarks on the coronavirus that later turned out to be inaccurate.
Trump aides Peter Navarro and Stephen Moore launched their own efforts last week to discredit Fauci as well. Navarro published an op-ed in USA Today criticizing Fauci, which the White House claimed was unauthorized. Moore told The Daily Beast that a policy memo going after Fauci is currently in the works.