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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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We thought that we had pretty exhaustively catalogued Donald Trump’s many screwups as it relates to the federal response to the outbreak of the covid 19 coronavirus in the United States.
But that’s one area where Trump never lets us down: Just when you think he’s screwed up the worst, he finds a way to go further.
Such is the case with the news that The New York Times reported that the Trump administration muzzled Dr Anthony Fauci, ordering him to get clearance for any comments he wants to make to the public.
This policy would be bad enough if Dr Fauci were any run-of-the-mill federal bureaucrat.
Dr Fauci, mind you, isn’t any run-of-the-mill federal bureaucrat.
He’s not only the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, not only a leading immunologist and researcher who has advised US presidents closely for decades. So closely, in fact, that President George W Bush, a Republican, awarded Fauci the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The truth is, if Trump were a real president and not just play-acting, he would have automatically and without hesitation put Dr Fauci–not Mike Pence–in charge of the federal response to the covid 19 outbreak.
Dr Fauci reportedly had been set to appear on all five Sunday talk shows to discuss covid 19. But the way Trump has played it, Dr Fauci was forced to back out of all of them.
The irony is that Trump is fretting over the crumpling stock market and the potential for uncertainty related to disease to impact his re-election.
If only he put his faith in a grown-up like Tony Fauci instead of treating him like a child or the enemy, perhaps the markets–and the nation–would already be more at ease instead of spiraling downwards.
Update 2/29: Who Decides When a Muzzle Is a Muzzle?
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