Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Wednesday threw his support behind Dr. Anthony Fauci as the White House continues its efforts to discredit the top official in its coronavirus task force.
When McConnell was asked during a press conference on Wednesday about his level of confidence in Fauci, after the Senate leader argued that Fauci has been the best source of advice since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, McConnell replied “total.”
McConnell’s support of Fauci comes on the heels of White House officials launching efforts to further discredit Fauci. On Sunday, an unnamed White House aide sent news outlets a list of Fauci’s past comments on the coronavirus that later turned out to be inaccurate. The aide wrote that “several” White House officials are “concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things,” according to reports in the Washington Post, NBC News and CNN.
White House trade official Peter Navarro and Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore joined the bandwagon bashing Fauci soon after.
On Monday, Moore told The Daily Beast that he and his organization the Committee to Unleash Prosperity have spent weeks crafting a memo against Fauci titled “Dr. Wrong.” The next day, Navarro penned a caustic USA Today op-ed that begins by claiming that Fauci “has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on” regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday afternoon, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany denied that its memo criticizing Fauci was the result of opposition research against the nation’s top infectious disease expert. McEnany insisted that the White House “provided a direct response to a direct question” and argued that the notion of the Trump administration launching an opposition research campaign against Fauci “couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Trump told reporters later Monday that he has had a “very good relationship” with Fauci “for a long time, right from the beginning.”
“I find him to be a very nice person,” Trump said on Monday. “I don’t always agree with him.”
McConnell isn’t the first Trump ally to come to Fauci’s defense, however.
When asked about the White House’s efforts to discredit Fauci during a press conference on Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) defended Fauci by arguing that “we don’t have a Dr. Fauci problem” and that “any effort to undermine him is not going to be productive, quite frankly.”
Watch McConnell’s remarks below:
Senate Mitch McConnell visits a hospital to express his gratitude for Kentucky’s front-line healthcare workers, as well as discuss the impact of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
Senator Mitch McConnell visits a hospital to express his gratitude for Kentucky’s front-line healthcare workers, as well as discuss the impact of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act): https://bit.ly/2ChbEUe
Posted by WZTV FOX 17 News, Nashville on Wednesday, July 15, 2020