The White House is distancing itself from Peter Navarro’s blistering op-ed attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci as the administration faces criticism for taking aim at the medical expert.
White House director of strategic communications Alyssa Farah sent a tweet claiming that the economic adviser’s op-ed in USA Today wasn’t authorized in the usual way.
“The Peter Navarro op-ed didn’t go through normal White House clearance processes and is the opinion of Peter alone,” Farah wrote.
“Donald Trump values the expertise of the medical professionals advising his Administration.”
The Peter Navarro op-ed didn’t go through normal White House clearance processes and is the opinion of Peter alone. @realDonaldTrump values the expertise of the medical professionals advising his Administration.
— Alyssa Farah (@Alyssafarah) July 15, 2020
The statement was met with incredulity, including from former head of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, whose become a critic of the administration.
“I don’t believe you on either point,” Shaub responded.
Navarro’s article was a broadside against the infectious diseases expert, who has earned the President’s ire by publicly contradicting him and tacitly criticizing him.
“Dr. Anthony Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public, but he has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on,” Navarro wrote.
“Now Fauci says a falling mortality rate doesn’t matter when it is the single most important statistic to help guide the pace of our economic reopening. The lower the mortality rate, the faster and more we can open.”
“So when you ask me whether I listen to Dr. Fauci’s advice, my answer is: only with skepticism and caution,” Navarro said.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media
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