President Donald Trump on Saturday publicly slammed Dr. Anthony Fauci’s analysis on why the United States has experienced a surge in coronavirus cases, claiming that the nation’s top infectious disease expert is “Wrong!” on his assessment of the health crisis.
“Wrong!” Trump tweeted, linking a video of Fauci’s Friday testimony before Congress.
During a hearing focused on the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, Fauci said that the U.S. was experiencing a much more severe resurgence in coronavirus cases than countries in Europe because many American states failed to completely shut down.
“If you look at what happened in Europe when they shut down or locked down or went into shelter-in-place. … They really did it to the tune of about 95-plus percent of the country did that,” Fauci said.
“When you actually look at what we did, even though we shut down, even though we created a great deal of difficulty, we really functionally shut down only about 50 percent in the sense of the totality of the country,” he added.
Trump responded by claiming in his Saturday tweet that the reason the country had such a high case count was because “we have tested far more than any other country.”
“If we tested less, there would be less cases. How did Italy, France & Spain do? Now Europe sadly has flare ups. Most of our governors worked hard & smart. We will come back STRONG,” Trump said.
Trump’s tweet is latest instance in which tensions between those in the White House and Fauci have spilled out into the open.
Trump has continually cited the U.S. testing capacity as the reason for these surges. Health experts, including Fauci, have said, however, that an uptick in cases cannot be explained by an increase in testing.
Fauci reiterated this point during his testimony on Friday, stating that the surge in cases was caused by several factors, including states not abiding “strictly by the guidelines that the task force and the White House had put out” when beginning a phased reopening.
Wrong! We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases. How did Italy, France & Spain do? Now Europe sadly has flare ups. Most of our governors worked hard & smart. We will come back STRONG!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2020