Certain Republican leaders are tired of heeding warnings from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the face of the White House’s coronavirus response.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned senators in a congressional hearing on June 30 that the U.S. is headed in the “wrong direction” in its fight against COVID-19. He warned that if infection rates don’t change, the country could reach 100,000 new COVID-19 cases per day. According to Texas Tribune, he called out Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas for the surges each state experienced after reopening.
“We’ve got to make sure that when states start to try and open again, they need to follow the guidelines that have been very carefully laid out, with regard to checkpoints,” Fauci said. “What we’ve seen in several states are different iterations of that, perhaps maybe in some, going too quickly and skipping over some of the checkpoints.”
Some GOP leaders did not respond kindly to Fauci’s insinuation that the states could be doing more to curb the outbreak. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that Dr. Fauci doesn’t know what he’s talking about when he says states like Texas “skipped over certain things.”
“We haven’t skipped over anything,” he said. “The only thing I’m skipping over is listening to him.”
Patrick also said that while doctors interviewed on Fox News have been “right almost every time,” he thinks Dr. Fauci has been “wrong every time on every issue.” He did not expand on what those issues were.
“I don’t need his advice anymore,” Patrick said. “We’ll listen to a lot of science, we’ll listen to a lot of doctors, and Gov. [Greg] Abbott, myself, and other state leaders will make the decision. No thank you, Dr. Fauci.”
Patrick isn’t the only Republican leader who is tired of Fauci. At that June 30 congressional hearing, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) accused Fauci of not being optimistic enough about the pandemic’s current state in the U.S.
“We shouldn’t presume that a group of experts somehow knows what’s best for everyone,” Paul said. “Dr. Fauci, every day, virtually every day, we seem to hear from you things we can’t do.”
Fauci responded to Paul and said he was just trying to give Congress the best advice possible.
“The only thing that I can do is, to the best of my ability, give you the facts and the evidence associated with [what] I know about this outbreak,” he said.
Some GOP members, though, are simply no longer interested in hearing the facts Fauci has been offering.
On July 27, Trump retweeted a message that said Anthony Fauci had misled the public during the pandemic. That led to Fauci responding the next day on Good Morning America, when he said, “We’re in the middle of a crisis with regard to a pandemic. “This is what I do. This is what I’ve been trained for my entire professional life and I’ll continue to do it. I have not been misleading the American public under any circumstances.”