Dr Anthony Fauci says he’s ready to put his rocky relationship with Donald Trump ‘behind’ him, despite giving several interviews this past week criticizing the former president after he left the White House.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert and head of Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force admitted he’s no longer interested in ‘re-examining’ what happened in the past, during an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday.
Fauci was asked about the media’s fixation with his clashes with Trump and whether he felt compelled to continue addressing such matters as the pandemic continues to grip the country.
Host Dana Perino referenced Fauci’s recent interview with New York Times podcast The Daily in particular, which she noted was mostly focused on his turbulent relationship with the president rather than the pandemic.
‘You are very willing to answer a lot of those questions and I know those questions are irresistible for reporters to ask, but is there a law of diminishing returns to continue to answer questions about that relationship if the crisis is as acute as you say?’ Perino asked.
‘I agree with you, Dana,’ Fauci replied candidly. ‘After that interview, I said to myself we really got to look forward and ahead and just put that behind us. I totally agree with you.’
Fox News host Dana Perino asked Dr Fauci on Tuesday whether he felt compelled to continue addressing questions about his rocky relationship with Trump as the pandemic continues to grip the country
Fauci admitted he’s no longer interested in ‘re-examining’ what happened in the past with Trump after speaking openly about their disagreements in several interviews with various media outlets following the president’s departure from Washington last week
‘Looking forward I’m really not enthusiastic at all about re-examining what happened back then rather than looking forward to what we need to do now.’
Fauci’s comments however, come after he openly spoke about his disagreements with Trump in several interviews with various media outlets following the president’s departure from Washington last week.
Most recently, he told CNN on Monday he feared people would start doing ‘dangerous and foolish things’ after Trump had suggested that injecting disinfectant could treat COVID-19.
A day earlier, he lamented how Trump would listen to his business friends over science and the experts in an interview with the New York Times. He also said it was ‘liberating’ to be backed by a science-friendly administration following Biden’s inauguration.
Speaking alongside Perino on Tuesday, co-host Bill Hemmer chimed in saying he had noticed an ‘aggressiveness towards the Trump administration’ in recent interviews with Fauci.
‘You’re the most respected man in America on this topics why do you even feel the obligation to answer these questions?’ Hemmer asked. ‘When you were at the White House no one prevented you from talking, did they?’
‘No, that’s why I got into trouble,’ Fauci responded, adding that the White House ‘wasn’t happy about some of the things that I said.’
President Joe Biden (center) gives an update on the coronavirus vaccine Tuesday. He was accompanied by Jeffrey Zients (right), the head of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 taskforce
There are currently more than 25.4million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country and a total of 425,036 deaths, with 3,734 new fatalities reported on Tuesday
Only about 23 million Americans – six per cent of the population – has been vaccinated with about 1.25 million shots per day
But before he could elaborate further, Fauci decided to draw the line on the topic once and for all.
‘And here again, we’re getting into rehashing it again,’ he said. ‘I think we should do what Dana just suggested – namely, put that behind us and take a look at the problems we have ahead.’
Fauci had appeared on news station to address the current state of the coronavirus pandemic as well as the US vaccination rollout after President Biden said he planned to have the majority of the nation inoculated by the end of the summer.
There are currently more than 25.4million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country and a total of 425,036 deaths, with 3,734 new fatalities reported on Tuesday.
Only about 23 million Americans – six per cent of the population – have been vaccinated, with a rate of about 1.25 million shots per day.
Fauci confirmed the president’s goal could be feasible once vaccine doses become available to the general population in April, which he referred to as ‘open season.’
‘Logistically by the time you get doses into everyone who might want it, it will take several months, which will go into the end of the summer,’ he explained.
‘I’ve been saying that probably by the end of the summer you could get everybody vaccinated, but the availability for people in any category will likely be by April.’
Biden earlier announced that the US is ramping up deliveries to hard-pressed states over the next three weeks and expects to provide enough doses to vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of the summer or early fall.
Answering growing frustration over vaccine shortages, President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he expects to provide enough doses to vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of the summer or early fall
That’s nearly the entire US population, which is officially estimated at 329 million – and therefore well over the 80 per cent estimated to be the point at which there will be herd immunity.
Calling the push a ‘wartime effort,’ Biden said the administration was working to buy an additional 100 million doses each from drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna. He acknowledged that states in recent weeks have been left guessing how much vaccine they will have from one week to the next.
Shortages have been so severe that some vaccination sites around the US had to cancel tens of thousands of appointments with people seeking their first shot.
‘This is unacceptable,’ Biden said. ‘Lives are at stake.’ He promised a roughly 16 per cent boost in deliveries to states over the next three weeks.
Fauci told Perino on Tuesday that people requiring their second dose would also be prioritized when the next batch of vaccines come in.
‘Clearly the priority is you want to get doses into people for their first dose, but when the next group of doses come in, you always have a priority of making sure that the people who’ve gotten the first dose get their second dose on time,’ he said.
Those who received the Pfizer vaccine are due for a second dose after 21 days while those who received the Modera vaccine will be up for their next shot after 28 days.
Even more vaccines could also be available soon if federal scientists approve a single-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson, which is expected to seek emergency authorization in the coming weeks.
On Tuesday Biden also promised the state and local leaders ‘will now always have a reliable three-week forecast of the supply they’re going to get.’
‘Until now, we’ve had to guess how much vaccine to expect for the next week and that’s what the governors had to do: ‘how much am I getting next week?’ This is unacceptable,’ Biden said.
By knowing these figures, Biden said, governors, mayors and local leaders can carry out their plans to vaccinate the largest number of people possible.
Meanwhile, the number of deaths, cases and hospitalizations across the US remain at increasingly high levels.
According to the COVID Tracking Project, another 143,745 new cases of COVID-19 were reported across the US on Tuesday, with 3,734 deaths. About 108,957 people are currently hospitalized with the virus, with 20,573 of those patients in the ICU.
The latest data however appeared to offer a glimmer of hope in the country’s battle against the virus, after it showed the hospitalization rates were falling nearly everywhere in the country, with the exception of Hawaii and Vermont.
California in particular seems to be showing signs of improvement following weeks of record high deaths, cases, and hospitalizations that have devastated state’s health care system.
Tuesday’s infection tally was the state’s lowest since December 1st, according to the data. Hospitalizations also fell to levels last seen before the Christmas period, however, deaths in the state remain high.
Biden’s team held its first virus-related call with the nation’s governors on Tuesday and pledged to provide states with firm vaccine allocations three weeks ahead of delivery.
Biden’s announcement came a day after he grew more bullish about exceeding his vaccine pledge to deliver 100 million injections in his first 100 days in office, suggesting that a rate of 1.5 million doses per day could soon be achieved.
The administration has also promised more openness and said it will hold news briefings three times a week, beginning Wednesday, about the outbreak that has killed over 420,000 Americans.