Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 8, 2020, in Washington, as VP Mike Pence listens. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci has been in the hot seat more so than normal in recent days after comments he made over the weekend in which he stated that “no one is going to deny that” after CNN anchor Jake Tapper asked Fauci if more lives could have been saved had the stay at home orders started sooner. During the segment, he also told Tapper that sometimes recommendations are made to do things and are accepted, and other times they are not accepted.
Some have interpreted his remarks to suggest he was hinting that he made a recommendation directly to Trump to start stay at home orders sooner, but interviews Fauci did in late February and early March show that Fauci was not recommending people stay at home.
In any event, Fauci was of course asked about that today during the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, and here’s how he first responded. Watch what happens at the end, though, once he’s done debunking media narratives about the Sunday interview (for those who want to skip straight to his shutting down of the journo, go to the clip below this one):
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) April 13, 2020
Here’s the shorter clip, where the reporter point-blank asks Fauci if he was defending Trump “voluntarily.” Fauci’s answer, and the look on his face after, was gold:
— David J Harris Jr (@DavidJHarrisJr) April 13, 2020
Here’s another angle, where you can see the reporter clearly looking chastised and embarrassed after Fauci told her “everything I do is voluntarily. Please, don’t even imply that”:
Fauci is officially fed up with journalists. pic.twitter.com/L4wDnmcciU
— Kate Hyde (@KateHydeNY) April 13, 2020
I think it’s pretty clear indeed that Fauci is fed up with the White House press corps’ antics. Almost daily they seem to be working off of Democratic talking points and going for gotcha questions instead of asking questions the American people really want answers to. Fauci was right to assert himself a bit after the reporter insinuated he was not making his comments of his own free will.
If I didn’t know any better, I’d say CNN and MSNBC really wanted to cut away from these briefings not because they don’t want to give Trump airtime, but because so-called “journalists” turn them into clown shows and make an utter mockery of their profession.
But I know better.