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Trump lashes out at Fauci amid criticism of slow virus response

President Donald Trump publicly signalled his frustration on Sunday with Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the Federal government’s top infectious disease expert, after the doctor said more lives could have been saved from the novel coronavirus if the country had been shut down earlier.

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Mr. Trump reposted a Twitter message that said “Time to #FireFauci” as he rejected criticism of his slow initial response to the pandemic that has now killed more than 22,000 people in the U.S. The President privately has been irritated at times with Mr. Fauci, but the Twitter post was the most explicit he has been in letting that show publicly.

The message Mr. Trump retweeted came from a former Republican Congressional candidate. “Fauci is now saying that had Trump listened to the medical experts earlier he could’ve saved more lives,” said the tweet by DeAnna Lorraine, who got less than 2% of the vote in an open primary against Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month. “Fauci was telling people on February 29th that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the U.S. at large. Time to #Fire Fauci.”

In reposting the message, Mr. Trump added: “Sorry Fake News, it’s all on tape. I banned China long before people spoke up.” The tweet came amid a flurry of messages blasted out by the President on Sunday defending his handling of the outbreak, and pointing the finger instead at China, the WHO, President Barack Obama, the nation’s Governors, Congress, Democrats generally and the news media.

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Mr. Trump did not “ban China,” but he did block foreign nationals who had been in China in the past 14 days starting February 2. Despite the policy, 40,000 Americans and other authorised travellers entered the country from China since then. NY Times

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 2:49:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/trump-lashes-out-at-fauci-amid-criticism-of-slow-virus-response/article31334387.ece

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