Former President Donald Trump lashed out at Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx Monday in a harsh statement released after the duo criticized the administration for its COVID-19 response.
In nearly 600 words, Trump rebutted comments from top members of his coronavirus task force, made during a Sunday CNN documentary — “COVID WAR: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out” — which featured criticisms of the former president.
During the interview, Fauci brazenly took credit for vaccine development, saying “the best decision” he’s made was fast-tracking its plans. This caught Trump’s attention, since Operation Warp Speed, his administration’s public-private partnership, led to creation and distribution of a successful vaccine, starting in December.
“Based on their interviews, I felt it was time to speak up about Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx, two self-promoters trying to reinvent history to cover for their bad instincts and faulty recommendations, which I fortunately almost always overturned,” the former president said. “They had bad policy decisions that would have left our country open to China and others, closed to reopening our economy, and years away from an approved vaccine —putting millions of lives at risk.”
Trump claimed vaccines were invented in “record time, nine months, which is saving the entire world. Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx moved far too slowly, and if it were up to them we’d currently be locked in our basements as our country suffered through a financial depression.”
Trump deemed Birx “a proven liar with very little credibility left.”
“The States who followed her lead, like California, had worse outcomes on Covid, and ruined the lives of countless children because they couldn’t go to school, ruined many businesses, and an untold number of Americans who were killed by the lockdowns themselves,” he added. “Dr. Birx was a terrible medical advisor, which is why I seldom followed her advice.”
Citing a Thanksgiving trip she took while the CDC was advising Americans not to travel, Trump also criticized Birx for not following her own advice.
Birx, the former White House coronavirus response coordinator, said she believes the first 100,000 lives could have been saved had the country begun flattening the curve sooner.
In mid-January, President Joe Biden described the vaccination campaign as a “dismal failure.”
Republicans and conservatives recently have accused the Biden administration of taking credit for a vaccination plan already underway prior to his arrival.