After President Donald Trump went on a social media spree, advancing false claims of a coronavirus cure, Dr. Anthony Fauci defended his work against some of the personal attacks on him.
On ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday, anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Fauci, “Can you continue to do your job when the president of the United States is publicly questioning your credibility in this way?”
Fauci sighed and said, “I don’t know how to address that. I just am certainly going to continue doing my job. I don’t tweet. I don’t even read them, so I don’t really want to go there. I just continue to do my job no matter what comes out, because I think it is very important in the middle of a crisis in regard to an epidemic, a pandemic. This is what I do, this is what I have been trained for my entire professional life, and I will continue to do it.”
Stephanopoulos noted that Trump retweeted a claim that Fauci had been “misleading the American public.”
“I have not been misleading the American public under any circumstances,” Fauci said.
Watch their exchange above.
Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force.
Trump had retweeted from the account War Room: Pandemic, which included a paraphrased quote from Dr. Lee Vliet — who has been a critic of Fauci’s — claiming that he misled the public by “dismissing hydroxychloroquine and calling Remdesivir the new gold standard.” War Room: Pandemic is a radio show and podcast co-hosted by Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist.
Trump retweeted another account that used the hashtag “FaucitheFraud,” and promoting the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine. The Food and Drug Administration has said that the drug carries health risks for certain patients.
Trump also shared clips of a video, in which a group of doctors had made a number of claims about coronavirus, including that hydroxychloroquine works as a “cure” for it. One of the figures in the video, according to The Washington Post, was Stella Immanuel, who received a medical license in Texas in November. She has promoted other conspiracy theories, according to The Daily Beast.
Facebook took down the video, and a spokesman for the platform said, “Yes, we removed it for sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19.” Twitter and YouTube also took down the viral video.
Twitter also added a note to its trending topics, noting that the FDA had concluded that “the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has been touted as a potential treatment for COVID-19 but the FDA says the drug is ‘unlikely to be effective’ and revoked its emergency use authorization in June.”
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