Trump Takes Shot at Dr. Fauci When Fox News Reporter Presses About Testing: ‘Nobody Knows’ What He’s Saying
President Donald Trump made a doubly-ominous aside when he told Fox News reporter John Roberts that he didn’t know what Dr. Anthony Fauci was saying about reopening the country, and added a dismissive “Nobody does” on top of that.
At Tuesday’s coronavirus press conference, Roberts asked Trump about remarks Dr. Fauci made hours earlier indicating that the testing capacity needed to safely reopen the country does not exist yet.
Trump cut Roberts off to say he didn’t “know what he said,” and added “Nobody knows.”
Roberts: Mr. President, you talked about having testing and tracing equipment, and the facility for that in place to open up the government. Dr. Fauci said this morning that that critical testing and tracing ability does not currently exist.
Trump: Well, I don’t know — look, I don’t know.
Roberts: Will — will — will it —
Trump: Hey, John, I don’t know what he said.
Roberts: My question is: Will it —
Trump: Nobody knows.
Roberts: My question is: Will it exist by May 1st?
Trump: The individual governors have testing. The individual governors — we have many forms of testing and new testing is being developed.
Our country has to get open, and it will get open, and it’ll get open safely and hopefully quickly — some areas quicker than other areas. But there is tremendous testing and the governors will use whatever testing is necessary. And if they’re not satisfied with their testing, they shouldn’t open. But they’ll use whatever is testing — whatever testing is necessary.
The context of Trump’s shot at Fauci is disturbing on two levels. It comes days after he retweeted a post calling for Fauci to be fired — and after weeks of reported tension over Fauci’s habit of regularly, if gently, contradicting Trump on matters related to the pandemic.
And the context of Fauci’s remarks, coupled with his answer to Roberts’ question, hints at a willingness to ignore the infectious disease expert’s warnings not to reopen the economy without the ability to do so safely.
Dr. Fauci has been unequivocal from the start that without widespread testing, there’s no way to know if the pandemic is under control, let alone to contain it. He testified to this under oath back in early March, has been saying so ever since, and said on Tuesday that we are “not there” yet.
Watch the clip above via Fox News.
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