Trump ‘asking key allies what they think of Dr. Fauci’ after top doc said earlier shutdown would’ve saved lives – The Sun

DONALD Trump spent his holiday weekend asking allies what they thought of Dr. Anthony Fauci after he said the U.S. coronavirus shutdown should’ve started earlier, according to a report.

The president on Easter Sunday retweeted a post from DeAnna Lorraine, a former Congressional candidate in California, who called for the top doctor’s firing.

“Fauci is now saying that had Trump listened to the medical experts earlier he could've saved more lives.”

“Fauci was telling people on February 29th that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the US public at large,” she tweeted. “Time to #FireFauci…”

Trump shared her post and added: “Sorry Fake News, it’s all on tape. I banned China long before people spoke up. Thank you @OANN.”

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said more lives could have been saved if the government had implemented a shutdown sooner.

He told CNN on Sunday that "it’s very difficult to go back and say that" but "if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier you could’ve saved lives.”

“Obviously no one is going to deny that,” Fauci said. “But what goes into those kinds of decisions is complicated.”

Despite his recent remarks, Fauci told the TODAY Show said on February 29 there was “no need” for the public to change their day-by-day routines.

“Right now, the risk is still low, but things could change, I’ve said that many times,” he said. “Although the risk is low now, you don’t need to change anything you’re doing.”

While Trump announced on January 31 that he was temporarily barring entry by foreign nationals who had traveled in China within the previous 14 days, it wasn’t until March that most states began to issue stay-at-home orders.

On Sunday, Trump called close advisers and asked them how soon he should “re-open” the U.S. economy, three people close to the conversations told The Daily Beast.

He reportedly wanted their opinions on when to urge Americans to return to their lives as they were pre-coronavirus outbreak.

Trump asked people over the phone in recent days, “What do you think of Fauci?” and at one point claimed he personally made Fauci a “star.”

One person told the news outlet that Trump “did not sound bitter about it, I wouldn’t say that. It just sounded like he thought it was worth a reminder.”

Throughout the Easter holiday, Trump allies were reportedly sharing documents that showed Fauci "had been inconsistent or made faulty predictions about the virus in recent months," as they encouraged one another to use them as talking points.

On Saturday, The New York Times reported again that Trump ignored a series of warnings from multiple advisers and the National Security Council.

Trump first denied seeing the memo, written by economic adviser Peter Navarro, warning about the potential for two million deaths.

He then later slammed the Times and other outlets in a series of tweets.

Some experts have said the travel bans primarily bought the administration time as they worked to get COVID-19 tests and later imposed social distancing measures, per the report.

During his CNN interview on Sunday, Fauci said the government had been advised to begin social distancing measures in February.

Trump announced plans to roll out "self-isolating" in mid-March.

"We look at it from a pure health standpoint," Fauci said. "We make a recommendation, often the recommendation is taken, sometimes it's not.”

"But it is what it is," the top doctor added.

The U.S. surpassed Italy on Saturday as the country with the highest number of reported coronavirus deaths in the world.

As of Sunday, there were at least 557,000 cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., with more than 22,000 deaths.

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