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Don't worry about Trump, Dr. Fauci, tell it like it is

Dr. Anthony Fauci should no longer feel any restraint about speaking his mind candidly, including bluntly calling out the president for his mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Fauci has been straight on the science with the American people, he has sought to be diplomatic out of a sense of loyalty to the currently elected president and in trying, desperately, to get the administration to speak with one voice.

Just a week ago, he told a New York Times reporter that he saw no “rift” between him and the president. It was not true, but Fauci wanted to be a team player.

Fauci dismissed any division even after the Trump campaign exploited his name and reputation in a campaign commercial. The commercial takes out of context Fauci’s comment, “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more,” suggesting he was referring to Trump. In reality, Fauci said, he was referencing the work of the White House coronavirus task force many months ago.

“That ad clearly implies strongly that I’m endorsing a political candidate, and I have not given them my permission to do that,” Dr. Fauci said.

Loyalty goes two ways, and President Trump shows none when it comes to Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan.

On Monday, during a conference call with campaign staff, Trump offered the observation, “People are tired of hearing Fauci and these idiots, all these idiots who got it wrong.”

The “idiots” apparently are the health experts the president has refused to listen to.

“This guy’s a disaster,” Trump added.

You’re the disaster, Mr. President. If your administration had aggressively followed the advice of the scientists — assertively promoted mask wearing, provided states assistance in tracing cases, used your executive authority to ramp up production of protective equipment and testing material as soon as the potential threat was clear, instead of downplaying it — the death toll likely would be far less than the 220,000 and counting that the nation has seen.

Fauci should no longer feel any compunction to get White House clearances before media appearances or to paper over differences. The worst that can happen is that he is fired. That won’t do the president’s election prospects any good given the public trusts Fauci far more than Trump.

So, go ahead, President Trump, make the “idiot’s” day.

The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Managing Editor Izaskun E. Larrañeta, staff writer Erica Moser and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.


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