Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday after the nation’s leading infectious disease expert blamed “mixed messages” out of Washington and politicization of safety measures for the high number of coronavirus fatalities in the U.S.
Meadows, during an appearance on “The Ingraham Angle”, claimed the “only thing consistent about Dr. Fauci is his inconsistency.”
“Dr. Fauci is the same one that said that every recommendation he made to President Trump … President Trump followed,” Meadows told host Laura Ingraham.
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Fauci, the current White House chief medical adviser, in an interview Sunday, pointed to the “divisiveness in our country,” as a reason for the high COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. — which recently surpassed 530,000 fatalities since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
“We had such divisiveness in our country that even simple, commonsense public health measures took on a political connotation,” Fauci said on NBC’s “Today” show. “If you wanted to wear a mask, you were on this side. If you wanted to stay in and avoid congregate settings, you were on this side. It wasn’t a pure public health approach. It was really very much influenced by the divisiveness that we had in this country.”
But Meadows raised some objections after viewing a video clip of Fauci’s remarks.
“It’s interesting now that we have a new administration, we have a new Dr. Fauci that seems to forget some of the conversations that he and I had,” Meadows said. “And if we want to go ahead and just lay it all out there, I’ll be glad to come on your show with Dr. Fauci and we’ll compare notes from conversations that he and I had.”
President Biden announced in an address to the nation Thursday that he was directing states, tribes and territories to ensure U.S. adults are eligible for vaccination by May 1. He also set a goal for Americans to begin holding gatherings by July 4.
Meadows said that Fauci previously remarked it was irresponsible to talk about how the U.S. could “possibly have a vaccine” by that July date. He also claimed Biden was trying to take credit for work that started during the Trump administration.
The subject of China was also discussed. Ingraham noted that Fauci appeared on her program in February last year and said he believed the data from Beijing. But critics have accused China of lowballing its initial coronavirus numbers.
“[Fauci] had to say that, Laura, because he was sending American taxpayer dollars to the Wuhan lab,” Meadows alleged.
Last October, Fauci criticized the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic, as well as former White House coronavirus adviser, Dr. Scott Atlas.
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At the time, Fauci told The Washington Post that the coronavirus task force was meeting less frequently, and he no longer had regular access to the former president, which was a significant change compared to their relationship during the early stages of the outbreak.
Fauci added that he believed Biden was “taking it [the virus] seriously from a public health perspective,” while Trump was “looking at it from a different perspective.”
On the heels of the interview, Trump suggested at a Florida rally that he was considering firing Fauci after the election.
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“Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election,” Trump told the crowd. “I appreciate the advice.”