Former President Trump on Monday slammed Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx criticizing their decision-making during his administration on the day after CNN aired previews of comments by the top government health experts.
Trump launched an extended tirade against his former top medical advisers on the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that he ignored both Fauci and Birx while in office as a benefit to the country and boasted that he was responsible for getting vaccines rapidly developed and approved.
“Based on their interviews, I felt it was time to speak up about Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx, two self-promoters trying to reinvent history to cover for their bad instincts and faulty recommendations, which I fortunately almost always overturned,” Trump said in a statement Monday. “They had bad policy decisions that would have left our country open to China and others, closed to reopening our economy, and years away from an approved vaccine—putting millions of lives at risk.”
The former president also mocked Fauci for his wayward first pitch at the Washington Nationals game last year. But he saved his sharpest criticisms for Birx, who has in recent weeks given interviews in which she has expressed regret for how she handled her role as head of the White House coronavirus task force.
“Dr. Birx is a proven liar with very little credibility left,” Trump said, claiming that Fauci would talk badly about her behind her back.
“The States who followed her lead, like California, had worse outcomes on Covid, and ruined the lives of countless children because they couldn’t go to school, ruined many businesses, and an untold number of Americans who were killed by the lockdowns themselves,” Trump added. “Dr. Birx was a terrible medical advisor, which is why I seldom followed her advice.”
The Trump diatribe came Monday in response to interviews by Birx and Fauci that aired Sunday as part of a preview of a special by CNN to air on Friday.
During her interview, Birx said that the first 100,000 deaths in the U.S. from the virus were difficult to prevent due to the fast-moving nature of the pandemic. But she argued that had the Trump administration acted more decisively, the rest of the deaths “could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.” More than 545,000 people have died from the virus in the United States.
Birx also said that she had a “very uncomfortable” conversation with Trump following a television interview last year in which she warned of a dire situation amid the pandemic.
Birx also told CNN that an August interview during which she warned of the dangers of COVID-19 even to rural and isolated communities drew ire from “everybody in the White House,” including Trump.
Fauci, who also participated in the CNN special, pushed back against Trump’s false claims about treatments for the virus and the severity of the pandemic.
Read Trump’s statement below.
Former President Trump responds to recent interviews by Fauci and Birx. pic.twitter.com/mOZslzhU1v
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) March 29, 2021