White House economic adviser Peter Navarro has penned a blistering op-ed targeting Dr. Anthony Fauci, claiming he listens to the nation's top infectious-disease expert "only with skepticism and caution." "He has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on," reads the critique published Tuesday in USA Today. Navarro, who clashed with Fauci over the use of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment, claims the doctor "fought against the president's courageous decision" to block travel from China in January and sought to assuage the public of the dangers in February "when I was working feverishly on behalf of the president … to help engineer the fastest industrial mobilization of the health care sector in our history." The reaction:
- The op-ed "mirrors some of the president's own criticisms of Fauci," per CBS News. In May, Trump claimed Fauci disagreed with his decision to block travel from China, though conservative magazine The Dispatch determined that was untrue. It noted Fauci supported the move publicly and, reportedly, privately as well.
- Trump has become increasingly critical of Fauci. But even the White House is backing away from Navarro's take. Alyssa Farah, director of strategic communications, says the op-ed "didn't go through normal White House clearance processes and is the opinion of Peter alone." She adds Trump "values the expertise of the medical professionals advising his administration."