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The Guardian reports Fauci sidelined as Trump's White House steps up briefing campaign.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Trump's director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has come under increasing fire from the president and his proxies. Trump told Fox news interviewers that Fauci had “made a lot of mistakes” and said he “disagreed” with Fauci’s claim that the US was in a bad place in its coronavirus response.

Fauci had found himself in the uncomfortable position of gently correcting Trump’s false or misleading statements for months. As far back as April the president retweeted a call for him to be fired, although that threat appeared to have receded.

In any case, Trump cannot fire Fauci, who enjoys support on both sides of Congress and has a public approval rating for his coronavirus response of 67% – almost three times that of Trump’s. Instead the strategy appears aimed at damaging his standing while keeping him out of the public eye by cancelling media appearances.

In the latest salvo of a coordinated briefing campaign, a White House official told CNN on Saturday that “several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr Fauci has been wrong on things”.

Fauci, who has diplomatically navigated Trump’s often chaotic and sometimes bizarre response to the pandemic, has long been the target of pro-Trump rightwing media in the US, where he has been denounced as “Dr Doom” or accused of being leftwing.

We Are Not Doing Great

Anyone who disagrees with Trump on anything is accused of having TDS or being leftwing or both.

This latest feud started on July 9 when Dr. Fauci told FiveThirtyEight ‘I Don’t Think You Can Say We’re Doing Great. I Mean, We’re Just Not.’

Anna Rothschild 538: So are you saying that in these states, are you saying that it’s a mix of politicians not following guidelines and people not following orders?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: Yes. It is both. I mean, it’s not a unidimensional thing. It’s complicated. There are some governors and mayors that did it perfectly correctly. They stayed exactly. They wanted to open up, so they went through the guidelines of opening up their state. But what happened is that many of the citizenry, said, “You know, well, I’m either going to be locked down or I’m going to let it all rip.” And you could see from just looking, documented on TV and in the papers of still photos of people at bars and congregations, which are a perfect setup, particularly if you don’t have a mask. 

AR You know, for a few months, masks were quite a partisan issue, though in the past few weeks politicians on both sides have advocated for their use. Do you think America’s hyperpartisan environment has made it more difficult to suppress the virus?

AF: You know, I think you’d have to admit that that’s the case. We live, I mean, you have to be having blindfolders on and covering your ears to think that we don’t live in a very divisive society now, from a political standpoint.

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Very Diplomatic 

Facuci was far more diplomatic than he might have been. 

OK Fauci made mistakes, but who didn't? 

It was Trump who from the beginning never treated things seriously. It is Trump who said we would soon be on our way to zero cases. It was Trump who told Michigan and other states to open up.

And it was Trump who refused to wear a mask, setting a poor example for the nation. 

If Trump wants someone to blame, he should look in a mirror or complain to Fox News about himself.

And I am still waiting for a peep from Hannity. For details please see Dear Sean Hannity: Who Owes Whom an Apology?