Mark Meadows calls Fauci’s 1918 flu comparison ‘irresponsible’

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s chief of staff criticized Anthony Fauci for comparing the current coronavirus outbreak to the 1918 flu pandemic, after reprimanding another top White House adviser for publicly attacking Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.

“He suggested that this virus was worse than, or as bad as, the 1918 flu epidemic,” Mark Meadows said during a Fox News interview Thursday. “I can tell you that not only is that false, it’s irresponsible to suggest so.”

Fauci said Tuesday at an event sponsored by Georgetown University that the coronavirus is a “pandemic of historic proportions” and “when history looks back on it, will be comparable to what we saw in 1918,” when influenza killed tens of millions of people worldwide. COVID-19 has so far killed more than 588,000 people worldwide, and more than 138,000 in the U.S., according to statistics compiled by Bloomberg.

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“I hope we don’t approach that with this, but it does have the makings of possibly approaching that in seriousness,” Fauci said, according to The Washington Post, while adding he expects the coronavirus death rate to rise, but not to levels seen in April and May.

Meadows took a swipe at Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, after chiding White House trade adviser Peter Navarro for writing an unauthorized critique of Fauci that was published by USA Today. “It’s not appropriate to express your opinion in an op-ed, whether it’s deeply held or not and I think Peter Navarro understands that,” the chief of staff said.

Representatives of the NIAID did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday night.

Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle