Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Thursday, March 26, 2020, in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence listens. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that media has been trying to be divisive between him and Trump.
There’s no doubt that’s true. But Fauci needs to understand that they will take anything he says and use it to their own ends, to push their own narrative. So, he should be conscious of that basic fact which he himself has acknowledged.
Example? The comments on CNN. Jake Tapper started out with a flawed premise, citing Dr. Sanjay “I don’t know how to read an X-ray” Gupta’s opinion that the Trump administration responded too late to the virus. Fauci’s response? That’s unfair, we were not late in response.
But then Tapper led him into saying had they shut down the country in February, there might have been fewer deaths. Since Fauci had already stated that he didn’t believe the administration response was late, Fauci was making a comment about looking at things with 20/20 hindsight. CNN interpreted what he said that he made a recommendation to shut down the country in February. But he didn’t actually say that, although he talked about “recommendations” and “pushback” against wanting to shut things down.
As we reported, Fauci clearly wasn’t thinking that on February 29th, when he said on a Today show interview that he didn’t think people needed to change their behaviors. Or on March 9, when he was saying that young people could still go on cruises.
But the media keep trying to play this gotcha hindsight game, trying to impute what we know now to what the actions were taken then. That’s not a game that will come out well for Democrats since Trump was responding and doing things like cutting travel while they were encouraging people to go out and mingle in crowds and calling cutting travel “racist” and “xenophobia.”
Now there’s another remark that people are keying off of from Fauci being interviewed by Tapper.
Tapper asks him about the election in November.
Q: Will it be safe for voters to go to the polls in November?
Fauci: “I hope so … However, and I don’t want to be the pessimistic person, there is always the possibility, as we get into next fall and the beginning of early winter, that we could see a rebound” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/ZRuRmoXjEZ
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 12, 2020
“I hope so, Jake,” he said, in an interview on CNN with Jake Tapper. “I can’t guarantee it.” He said that he hoped that “we” would be able to do it in a way that is the “standard way.” “However, and I don’t want to be the pessimistic person, there is always the possibility, as we get into next fall and the beginning of early winter, that we could see a rebound.”
So here’s the thing. He’s trying to cover all his bases with an answer. Of course, he can’t guarantee the nature of what will be going on in November. He essentially says he hopes they have all the testing and things figured out by then.
But it isn’t up to him as to whether there’s a “normal” in-person election. The answer really should be, “That’s not up to me to say.” But now the lead and the takeaway is “Fauci says he can’t guarantee we will be able to vote in person in November.”
According to the Daily Mail, MSNBC host Brian Williams asked him a similar question, even asking him whether voters should be able to vote by mail in the 2020 presidential election.
Fauci said that while this was not his area of expertise, ‘I would hope that by November we would have things under such control that we could have a real degree of normality.’
That’s a better answer than to Tapper.
There’s already consternation over the question, given the Democrats’ effort to try to shove through mail-in voting in the virus relief bill and they don’t seem to be letting up on the question. One has to doubt their sudden effort to push through mail-in voting particularly in this election.
If you thought that hanging chads were bad with Bush-Gore, just wait if you had all mail-in voting. We wouldn’t know the winner until January and the claims of fraud, missing ballots and other funny business would be rampant. It’s a horror show that we should never even try to do with all the votes. It’s bad enough with the absentee ballots already.
But now, can we say it’s ok to go out and grocery shop with care now, but it wouldn’t be ok months from now in November to even go in and push a button and leave? The answer is: We can’t say that.
Trump has appointed a council to work out the process of reopening with the governors in coordination. Governor Abbott is already talking about an executive order this week. So hopefully this becomes very shortly a moot point.