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5 times Dr. Fauci called out Trump for making false coronavirus claims

Published Sep 2nd, 2020 12:41PM EDT
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  • President Donald Trump is often criticized for making false claims about the coronavirus pandemic, and Dr. Anthony Fauci has contradicted the president on a number of occasions.
  • Most recently, Fauci called out erroneous claims by Trump that the real death toll from COVID-19 was just 6% of the reported fatalities.
  • Fauci has appeared less frequently by the president’s side over the past few months, and it’s clear that Trump doesn’t like being corrected.

I don’t think there’s anyone on Earth who envies Dr. Athony Fauci. For starters, he’s the leading infectious disease expert in the United States and we’re in the middle of a pandemic. That’s a tough enough job as it is, but he’s also an advisor to a president who routinely disseminates misinformation about the severity of the outbreak and even certain aspects of the virus itself.

It seems he is often playing catch-up, cleaning up after President Trump, and trying to correct his erroneous claims before they can do too much damage. Some might consider it to be the worst job in the world, but Fauci persists, and just recently corrected another of Trump’s misleading claims that a mere 6% of the COVID-19 death toll were actual deaths caused by the virus.

Trump’s tweet was eventually deleted by the social network because it was, well, a complete lie, but Fauci appeared on Good Morning America to explain why it was so completely false. Trump’s claim was that because only 6% of people who died of COVID-19 didn’t have an underlying health condition that only those people should be counted as deaths from the virus.

Fauci was quick to point out that this is just plain wrong. Individuals with conditions like obesity, diabetes, respiratory illness, or other chronic issues that died after becoming infected with the virus would still be alive today had they not contracted COVID-19. It’s a bit like saying that someone that wears glasses and then dies in a car accident didn’t really die from the crash because they didn’t have perfect 20-20 vision. It’s just dumb.

But correcting the “dumb” coming from the president’s mouth has become something of a hobby for Fauci. As Newsweek points out, this is hardly the first time the good doctor has had to clean up after Trump. Here’s are a few other claims that Fauci has been forced to debunk after being spread by Trump:

COVID-19 is under control in the US – This is something that has been said by the president many times over the past 9 months. He routinely claims that the US is doing as good a job as can be done in containing the virus. Fauci regularly shoots down these claims by citing all the ways that the US could be doing more to protect its citizens.

Summer will save us – Trump has been searching for every possible lucky scenario that could curb the spread of the virus. Back in April he famously said that “heat and light” will make the virus “go away” and that the summer months would stop the spread of the disease. Dr. Fauci was quick to jump in and note that “It doesn’t look like there’s any significant impact right from the weather.”

Hydroxychloroquine – Who can forget the saga surrounding this malaria drug that Trump himself claimed he took? In the early months of the pandemic, Trump repeatedly boasted about the effectiveness of this entirely unproven treatment. Fauci intervened, saying that no good studies existed to show that it was helpful. Instead, taking it might make COVID-19 infections worse.

Anyone can get a test – This one really made a lot of people mad and with good reason. While Trump stood at the podium telling the country that tests were easy to come by, countless Americans and even doctors here in the US were struggling to get testing equipment they vitally needed. Meanwhile, Fauci has repeatedly called the country’s testing delays “unacceptable,” and has held the administration accountable for its lack of responsiveness.