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Politics Graham warns efforts to undercut Fauci are "not going to be productive"

23:15  14 july  2020
23:15  14 july  2020 Source:   cbsnews.com

Rift grows between Trump, health experts amid coronavirus surge

  Rift grows between Trump, health experts amid coronavirus surge As the coronavirus pandemic worsens in large swaths of the country, President Donald Trump is publicly disputing his top health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci. The president has taken his criticism of the government's top expert on infectious diseases and of leaders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention into the public forum in his massive push to reopen the country.

Washington — Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close ally of President Trump, defended Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday amid efforts by top White House officials to discredit him, warning attempts to undercut Fauci would be unproductive.

Lindsey Graham wearing a suit and tie: GOP Senators Hold News Conference To Announce Opposition To DC Statehood © TASOS KATOPODIS / Getty Images GOP Senators Hold News Conference To Announce Opposition To DC Statehood

During a press conference in Columbia, South Carolina, Graham told reporters he has "all the respect in the world for Dr. Fauci," the nation's leading infectious disease expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

President Donald Trump meets his match in Anthony Fauci: ANALYSIS

  President Donald Trump meets his match in Anthony Fauci: ANALYSIS After trying to drive a wedge between himself and Anthony Fauci, President Donald Trump dialed it back this week. He has long thrived on a rivalry-based, no-holds-barred approach to politics. But as the White House now attempts to walk back from the very attacks they perpetrated against Fauci, it stands as a tacit acknowledgement that they overplayed their hand in going after a highly-respected scientist polls show Americans trust far more than the president.

"I think any effort to undermine him is not going to be productive, quite frankly," the senator said.

Graham said the nation does not have "a Dr. Fauci problem" and instead needs "to be focusing on doing things that get us to where we need to go."

"Getting in a contest with Dr. Fauci about whether he was right or wrong doesn't move the ball forward," the South Carolina senator said.

Graham's defense of Fauci comes as tensions between him and senior White House officials have spilled into public view as Fauci has issued blunt warnings about the state of the coronavirus crisis, which is worsening in most states.

Doctors cry foul as Trump, White House target Fauci, CDC

  Doctors cry foul as Trump, White House target Fauci, CDC A top Trump aide posted a cartoon mocking Anthony Fauci, as former directors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of "partisan potshots." "The four of us led the CDC over a period of more than 15 years, spanning Republican and Democratic administrations alike," Tom Frieden, Jeffrey Koplan, David Satcher, and Richard Besser wrote in an opinion article published Tuesday in The Washington Post. "We cannot recall over our collective tenure a single time when political pressure led to a change in the interpretation of scientific evidence.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told CBS News that Fauci "has been wrong about everything I have ever interacted with him on."

"Now Fauci is saying that a falling mortality rate doesn't matter, when it is the single most important statistic to help guide the pace of our economic reopening," Navarro said. "So when you ask me if I listen to Dr. Fauci's advice, my answer is only with caution."

In addition to Navarro's criticisms of Fauci, Dan Scavino, White House deputy chief of staff for communications, shared a cartoon on social media Sunday that mocked Fauci and suggested his recommendations to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus are drowning the economy. The image depicts Fauci as "Dr. Faucet" turned to "extra cold" and spewing demands for schools to remain closed and lockdowns to stay in place.

"Sorry, Dr. Faucet!" Scavino wrote in a post accompanying the cartoon. "At least you know if I'm going to disagree with a colleague, such as yourself, it's done publicly — and not cowardly, behind journalists with leaks. See you tomorrow!"

'In Fauci we trust.' Democrats pounce on Trump's rift with experts as coronavirus cases swell

  'In Fauci we trust.' Democrats pounce on Trump's rift with experts as coronavirus cases swell White House social media director Dan Scavino posted a cartoon on Facebook portraying Fauci as a faucet, flushing the U.S. economy down the drain. "Sorry, Dr. Faucet!" he posted. "At least you know if I’m going to disagree with a colleague, such as yourself, it’s done publicly – and not cowardly, behind journalists with leaks." White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany pushed back on reports of a split, arguing Monday that the initial statement questioning Fauci's early insights into the virus came in response to specific questions from The Washington Post.

While President Trump has lauded the federal government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and said the declining mortality rate demonstrates the success in responding to the crisis, Fauci warned last week during a Facebook Live with Alabama Senator Doug Jones, a Democrat, that "it's a false narrative to take comfort in a lower death rate."

Fauci has also rejected the suggestion that the U.S. is doing better than other countries in its response to the coronavirus, instead telling FiveThirtyEight's podcast that "when you compare us to other countries, I don't think you can say we're doing great."

Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday he has a "very good relationship with Fauci" but doesn't agree with him at all times.

How Dr. Deborah Birx's political skills made her the most powerful person on the task force .
As the relationship between Dr. Anthony Fauci and President Donald Trump publicly disintegrated over the past few months, Dr. Deborah Birx, Fauci's former mentee, solidified her standing inside the White House, to the point that sources familiar with the situation say she has essentially taken charge of running the task force day to day.   require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

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