Even though US President Donald Trump retweeted a post with a call to “#FireFauci” after his comments in an interview, White House has made it clear that the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, member of US task force for COVID-19, Dr Anthony Fauci, is not being fired. While talking to an international media broadcaster, Fauci had said that the US “could have saved lives” with early mitigation processes. However, he later backtracked from his comments and claimed to have “the wrong choice of words”.
Amid rising controversies surrounding Fauci’s position in the Trump administration, White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley reportedly called media reports as “ridiculous” and added that Fauci continues to remain a “trusted adviser” to Trump, like always. On April 12, Trump had reposted a message from Republican candidate for Congress, who called for removing Fauci from his position over his comments demeaning the Trump administration. In the country’s fight with the coronavirus outbreak, Fauci has emerged as a prominent leader and has not even corrected the US President for his comments but in some instances, even contradicted him.
Earlier, Fauci had said they “obviously could have saved lives” if the government had started the mitigation processes earlier. Fauci made the statements while talking to an international media broadcaster after the COVID-19 death toll in the US, not only surpassed that of Italy but also showed a spike from 10,000 to 20,000 in nearly five days. On April 12, Fauci even confessed that there was “a lot of pushback” that took place in the initial stage of the pandemic to introduce social distancing measures and for the country to respond more effectively. Further explaining the possibility of voters will be able to go out physically and cast a ballot for the 2020 presidential elections in November, Fauci gave a mixed response while raising caution that disorganised ending of lockdown might lead to a rebound.
As of April 14, the US has recorded 587,155 confirmed cases with 23,644 fatalities. After originating from China’s “wet markets”, the coronavirus has now claimed over 119,705 lives worldwide as of April 14. According to the tally by international news agency, the pandemic has now spread to 210 countries and has infected at least 1,925,234 people. Out of the total infections, 447,958 have been recovered but the easily spread virus is continuing to disrupt many lives. Major cities have been put under lockdown in almost all countries and the economy is struggling.