Trump rages at Covid experts who criticised him

Former United States president Donald Trump on Monday lashed out at two of the country’s leading figures in the coronavirus battle after they criticised his handling of the pandemic.

In an angry statement, Trump described Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx as “two self-promoters trying to reinvent history to cover for their bad instincts and faulty recommendations, which I fortunately almost always overturned.”

Trump accused Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, of trying to take credit for vaccine development, and “moving the goalposts to make himself look as good as possible.”

The former president added that Birx, who was his coronavirus task force coordinator, was “a proven liar with very little credibility left.”

The bitter outburst came after Fauci told CNN how shocked he had been when Trump last April called for states to “liberate” themselves as experts pleaded with Americans to obey shutdown orders.


Birx said in an interview that — while working at the White House — she had received a “very uncomfortable” phone call from Trump after speaking publicly about the rapid spread of Covid-19.

She also said “the federal government did not provide consistent messaging to the American people and that is fault number one.”

The interviews with Fauci and Birx were part of a CNN documentary on the pandemic.

Birx retired after a bruising time at the White House that tarnished her once stellar reputation.

Fauci, 80, is now the White House’s top pandemic advisor under President Joe Biden after Trump’s election defeat.

“Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx moved far too slowly, and if it were up to them we’d currently be locked in our basements as our country suffered through a financial depression,” Trump said.

He also attacked Fauci’s ability to throw a baseball, described him as “king of the flip-flops,” and said “Birx was a terrible medical advisor, which is why I seldom followed her advice.”

Trump, who makes a habit of strong counter-attacks to any criticism, has kept a relatively low profile since leaving the White House and moving to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Under Trump, the number of Covid-19 deaths in the United States soared to by far the world’s highest toll as he resisted face masks, shutdowns and other measures to contain the pandemic.

Biden has quickly ramped up vaccine distribution but also warned that the pandemic, which has killed 549,000 people in the US, remains a major threat as data shows another potential surge in infections.

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse works from worldwide. AFP Photo's official Twitter account. Tweeting news and features from Agence France-Presse's global photo network Agence France Presse has over 120540 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

No mercy for teachers who are found guilty of misconduct

New regulations give direction on what sanctions should be imposed on disgraceful teachers, including lifetime bans for serious offences

There is less full-time work than there was a year...

Over the last year, amid lockdowns and recession, the number of part-time jobs increased while full-time jobs took a cut in South Africa

More top stories

IMF launches interactive climate dashboard

South Africa’s climate change transition risk is 5.6 on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest

Climate change threatens survival of endemic species the most

If Earth warms by 3°C, a third of species living on land and about half of endemic marine species will become extinct

Anger as Ace alters step-aside rules

Outraged provincial secretaries called for a meeting with Luthuli House after the ANC secretary general broadened the NEC’s step-aside resolution

Food delivery drivers seek better employee rights

A group of South African Uber drivers plan to go to court to seek employee rights including compensation for overtime and holiday pay, hoping for a similar victory to that of British drivers in March
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…