The White House is claiming Trump’s Economic Adviser Peter Navarro did not go through the typical clearance process before publishing an op-ed roasting COVID-19 task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday.
Navarro published a piece in USA Today on Wednesday titled “Anthony Fauci has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on: Peter Navarro,” in which he holds nothing back on one of the leading faces of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus response. The White House press office came forward soon after publication to say the op-ed is the sole opinion of Navarro and does not represent anyone else in the administration.
“The Peter Navarro op-ed didn’t go through normal White House clearance processes and is the opinion of Peter alone. President Donald Trump values the expertise of the medical processionals advising his Administration,” White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Farah announced on Twitter. (RELATED: Peter Navarro Calls Bolton’s New Book ‘Revenge Porn’)
The Peter Navarro op-ed didn’t go through normal White House clearance processes and is the opinion of Peter alone. @realDonaldTrump values the expertise of the medical professionals advising his Administration.
— Alyssa Farah (@Alyssafarah) July 15, 2020
Navarro’s retells a series of instances in which he and Fauci were at odds when it came to the severity of or the response to COVID-19. He argues Fauci was wrong in each instance. Navarro did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller about whether he cleared the op-ed with the White House.
“When we were building new mask capacity in record time, Fauci was flip-flopping on the use of masks,” he wrote. “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.”
“When you ask me whether I listen to Dr. Fauci’s advice, my answer is: only with skepticism and caution,” he wrote.
The op-ed comes days after Fauci publicly warned against what he called the “false narrative” surrounding the falling coronavirus mortality rate.
“It’s a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” he said July 7. “There’s so many other things that are dangerous and bad about the virus. Don’t get into false complacency.”
Many critics of the administration saw his statement as undercutting Trump, who has repeatedly touted the diminishing mortality rate to argue the crisis is waning.