Tags: Coronavirus | fauci | woodward | masks | interviews | hhs

Dr. Fauci: 'Not a Good Thing' to Downplay COVID-19

fauci wearing a white face mask standing behind trump
President Donald Trump is flanked by Dr. Anthony Fauci while speaking about coronavirus vaccine development in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 15, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

By    |   Friday, 11 September 2020 01:59 PM

Dr. Anthony Fauci Friday rejected a report claiming a Health and Human Services agency official was trying to "muzzle" what he says during his interviews. Fauci said he doesn't think it is "a good thing" to downplay something "that's really a threat," as President Donald Trump admitted he has done.

"Anybody that tries to tell me what to say publicly, if they know anything about me, realizes that's a fool's errand," Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. "Nobody will pressure me or muzzle me not to say anything publicly. Whoever wrote that memo, it was a waste of an email."

Emails obtained by Politico show Paul Alexander — a senior adviser to Michael Caputo, HHS' assistant secretary for public affairs — had been telling press officers and others at the National Institutes of Health what Fauci should be saying during his interviews. 

Fauci further commented on the revelations coming out about Bob Woodward's book on President Donald Trump, including on the beginnings of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Trump told Woodward in early February the disease was airborne but then fought against wearing masks and social distancing for months, said Mitchell. 

"That's quite unfortunate, obviously, because as you know, we, the physicians and the scientists on the Coronavirus Task Force, have been stressing continually about the importance of wearing masks," Fauci replied. "We know from modeling studies that about 50% of the transmission occurs from a person who is without symptoms to someone who is uninfected. So for that reason alone, that's the reason why we recommend the universal wearing of masks."

Fauci also on Friday discussed the halt in the AstraZeneca vaccine testing after a test subject became seriously ill. 

"It's unfortunate that there was this serious adverse event, but to me, it proves to the American public that the system works ... the trial was immediately put on hold, and a considerable degree of investigation is going on right now to try and find out the details."

He said he does believe the company will continue its trials, but "with an additional degree of caution."

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Dr. Anthony Fauci Friday rejected a report claiming a Health and Human Services agency official was trying to "muzzle" what he says during his interviews. Fauci said he doesn't think it is "a good thing" to downplay something "that's really a threat," as President Donald...
fauci, woodward, masks, interviews, hhs
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2020-59-11
Friday, 11 September 2020 01:59 PM
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