While government officials did not advocate wearing masks in the early stages of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, the CDC recommended the use of cloth masks outside the home in early April.
Fauci admitted in June that the government had been sluggish in promoting mitigation due to public health concerns about a lack of personal protective equipment in the US
Trump’s mention of the World Health Organization appears to reference a statement made last week by a Covid-19 special envoy for the United Nations agency calling on countries not to use lockdowns as a “primary means of combating this virus.”
However, the US only implemented a Scattershot collection of lock orders earlier this year. Trump declined to give a statewide mandate, leaving local and state leaders to post their own restrictions.
Fauci himself told CNN in an interview Monday that officials “don’t talk about the shutdown” when advocating public health action, saying, “Let’s get this off the table.”
Trump announced a travel ban from China in January. However, its travel restrictions came after the coronavirus was already raging across China and they did not accompany broader federal efforts to prepare the US for the impending pandemic.
Additionally, Trump’s travel ban included exceptions that reportedly allowed nearly 40,000 people to enter the US on direct flights from China.
Regarding Trump’s claim he saved 2 million Americans, British researchers reported in March that the coronavirus could kill 2.2 million people in the US
However, this model predicted that the death toll would only reach such highs if the US did not take any action to stop the spread of the disease, an unrealistic scenario.
Trump has repeatedly touted the earlier, worse forecast of coronavirus deaths to argue that his administration’s response has been a success.
Trump’s recent broadside against Fauci is yet another effort by the White House to question the credibility of one of the government’s most trusted health officials.
However, the president’s tweet also apparently undermines the 30-second ad that his campaign published on Saturday and in which Fauci prominently rates Trump’s handling of the coronavirus.
“I can’t imagine that … anyone could do more,” says Fauci in the ad – a quote he claimed on Sunday was “without my permission” and “out of context” from a broader statement about it the response to the federal pandemic began.
The Trump campaign has defended its decision to include Fauci in the ad, as has the president, who tweeted on Sunday: “These are indeed Dr. Fauci’s own words.”
Fauci continued to express his displeasure with the ad this week, stressing on Monday that in his more than three decades as director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, he has never endorsed a political candidate.
“I found it really disappointing to make a completely out of context statement that apparently was an ad for a political campaign,” he told CNN.