Even longtime Trump ally and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) sees the problems of the incessant attempts by the president and his team to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, who’s helped lead the federal government’s response to the Coronavirus. Recently, the Trump administration has been trying to discredit Fauci, as if he’s held himself out to be some model of perfection, although in reality, he’s spent months imploring Americans to make decisions in line with the basic science at hand. On Tuesday, Graham said that he didn’t think attacks on Fauci were “productive.”
He told reporters:
‘Getting in a contest with Dr. Fauci about whether he was right or wrong doesn’t move the ball forward, because here’s where we are as a nation: the infection rate is going up, we shut the whole country down, it’s time to reopen up smartly. It’s time to go back to school… We don’t have a Dr. Fauci problem. We need to be focusing on doing things that get us to where we need to go. So I have all the respect in the world for Dr. Fauci. I think any effort to undermine him is not going to be productive quite frankly.’
Sen. Lindsey Graham: "We don't have a Dr. Fauci problem. We need to be focusing on doing things that get us to where we need to go. So I have all the respect in the world for Dr. Fauci. I think any effort to undermine him is not going to be productive quite frankly." pic.twitter.com/Jbso8O8U6B
— The Recount (@therecount) July 14, 2020
Would Trump be willing to say the same kind of thing about Fauci? Probably not. To call Trump’s priorities awry would be a huge understatement. Fauci says that he hasn’t actually spoken to Trump directly since early June, but in mid-June, Trump publicly commented about the doctor… and complained about his comments about whether or not NFL would be able to safely resume in the fall. At the time of Trump’s remarks, huge numbers of Americans had already died from the Coronavirus, but those were the president’s priorities — the NFL.
‘Tony Fauci has nothing to do with NFL Football. They are planning a very safe and controlled opening. However, if they don’t stand for our National Anthem and our Great American Flag, I won’t be watching!!!’
He subsequently claimed that he “Informed Dr. Fauci this morning that he has nothing to do with NFL Football.” Fauci never claimed to be in some kind of position of authority over football — but again, this nonsense is what the buffoon of a president has been concerned with while Americans have been dying.
Tony Fauci has nothing to do with NFL Football. They are planning a very safe and controlled opening. However, if they don’t stand for our National Anthem and our Great American Flag, I won’t be watching!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
Meanwhile, more recently, in a document that the administration leaked to reporters, they brazenly misrepresent some of Dr. Fauci’s past remarks.
For example, administration officials noted in the document that Fauci said during a television appearance in February that “at this moment, there is no need to change anything that you’re doing on a day-by-day basis,” but in that same interview, he made it abundantly clear that the situation could rapidly change. At a campaign rally in South Carolina that same month, Trump took the opposite approach — he lied, claiming that Coronavirus concern was a “hoax.” It was not.