White House seeks to discredit Fauci as coronavirus surges

Coronavirus

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (Al Drago/Pool via AP)

(NBC)—The White House is seeking to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, as President Donald Trump works to marginalize him and his dire warnings about the shortcomings of the U.S. coronavirus response.

In a remarkable broadside by the Trump administration against one of its own, a White House official said Sunday that “several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things.” The official gave NBC News a list of nearly a dozen past comments by Fauci that the official said had ultimately proven erroneous.

Among them: Fauci’s comments in January that the coronavirus was “not a major threat” and his guidance in March that “people should not be walking around with masks.”

It was a move more characteristic of a political campaign furtively disseminating opposition research about an opponent than of a White House struggling to contain a pandemic that has killed more than 135,000 people, according to an NBC News tally.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com.

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