I lis­ten with cau­tion to Dr. Fauci’s ad­vice

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS - Peter Navarro

Dr. An­thony Fauci has a good bed­side man­ner with the pub­lic, but he has been wrong about ev­ery­thing I have in­ter­acted with him on.

In late Jan­uary, when I was mak­ing the case on be­half of the pres­i­dent to take down the flights from China, Fauci fought against the pres­i­dent’s coura­geous de­ci­sion — which might well have saved hun­dreds of thou­sands of Amer­i­can lives.

When I warned in late Jan­uary in a memo of a pos­si­bly deadly pan­demic, the di­rec­tor of the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Al­lergy and In­fec­tious Dis­eases was telling the news me­dia not to worry.

When I was work­ing fever­ishly on be­half of the pres­i­dent in Fe­bru­ary to help engi­neer the fastest in­dus­trial mo­bi­liza­tion of the health care sec­tor in our his­tory, Fauci was still telling the pub­lic the China virus was low risk.

When we were build­ing new mask ca­pac­ity in record time, Fauci was flipflop­ping on the use of masks.

And when Fauci was telling the White House Coro­n­avirus Task Force that there was only anec­do­tal ev­i­dence in sup­port of hy­drox­y­chloro­quine to fight the virus, I con­fronted him with sci­en­tific stud­ies pro­vid­ing ev­i­dence of safety and ef­fi­cacy. A re­cent Detroit hospi­tal study showed a 50% re­duc­tion in the mor­tal­ity rate when the medicine is used in early treatment.

Now Fauci says a fall­ing mor­tal­ity rate doesn’t mat­ter when it is the sin­gle most im­por­tant statis­tic to help guide the pace of our eco­nomic re­open­ing. The lower the mor­tal­ity rate, the faster and more we can open.

So when you ask me whether I lis­ten to Dr. Fauci’s ad­vice, my an­swer is: only with skep­ti­cism and cau­tion.

Peter Navarro, an as­sis­tant to the pres­i­dent, is the di­rec­tor of the Office of Trade and Man­u­fac­tur­ing Pol­icy. (Parts of this state­ment were shared with other news or­ga­ni­za­tions. The FDA has re­voked its ap­proval for treat­ing COVID-19 with hy­drox­y­chloro­quine.)

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