President Donald Trump continued an attack against the nation’s top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci on Saturday afternoon, responding to bleak testimony from the doctor that explained why the United States has failed at containing outbreaks of the virus.
The President retweeted a video from CBS News that showed Fauci testisfying before Congress this week about spikes in cases of coronavirus. Trump accompanied the video with the words, “Wrong!”
Wrong! We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases. How did Italy, France & Spain do? Now Europe sadly has flare ups. Most of our governors worked hard & smart. We will come back STRONG!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2020
In the clip, Fauci contrasted how the United States shut down comparatively less than some European nations, saying that in parts of Europe “they really did it to the tune of about 95% plus of the country.”
Fauci said that although the United States shuttered parts of the economy temporarily to curb the spread of coronavirus “we really only functionally shut down only about 50% in the sense of the totality of the country.”
In his testimony, Fauci argues that a reluctance to shut down more of the country had a lasting impact and when the country reopened it was more vulnerable to a surge in cases.
In response to the video, Trump went on a familiar rant that “if we tested less, there would be less cases.”
But that argument has been challenged by many of the President’s own health experts.
During the House hearing Friday, Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary Adm. Brett Giroir did not demonize testing to explain away rising numbers of cases.
Giroir instead described testing as more like a tool that “heralds impending outbreaks” and “informs resource allocation.” He added that testing “assists in minimizing economic and social disruption.”
Trump’s attack on Fauci follows a complaint earlier this week that Fauci had a higher approval rating than he did.
“He’s got this high approval rating, so why don’t I have a high approval rating, and the administration with respect to the virus?” Trump mused out loud.