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Horowitz: The problem with Trump’s excuse on Fauci runs much deeper than COVID
Michael Reynolds/EPA/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Horowitz: The problem with Trump’s excuse on Fauci runs much deeper than COVID

It’s hard to blame people for buying into the false COVID narratives in March 2020 or for thinking the vaccines were safe and effective when they came out in January 2021. The problem is with people like Trump who, despite mounds of evidence, continue to ignore the truth and place people around him who do not represent his movement. His excuses for not firing Fauci are a glimpse not just into his failed COVID response that lasted through January 2021 (and that he still defends today), but into the entire “shallow state” problem of his administration and his chaotic, inconsistent, and undisciplined way of governing.

Trump has consistently defended his decision not to fire Fauci as being a victim of civil service laws precluding him from doing so. Putting aside the bizarre admission that he never tried to challenge these laws in so many other situations, his excuse misses the main point. The destruction of our country at the hands of Fauci was not so much a result of his position as a “deep state” operative at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases but of being elevated as a top White House official and spokesman for the president on the top issue of our time, along with other leftists such as Deborah Birx and Surgeon General Jerome Adams, along with Pfizer shill Scott Gottlieb .

For months, we begged and beseeched Trump and his allies to cease and desist from his policies and listen to the plethora of other voices with impressive credentials who shredded the Fauci/Birx narrative. Indeed, after initially appearing on several of our Blaze Media shows, Dr. Scott Atlas piqued the interest of the president and was selected as a White House adviser in August.

“Well, it’s better late than never,” we thought, but we were too optimistic about finally deep-sixing COVID fascism. Instead, in what had become endemic of the chaos in the White House on so many other issues, Trump essentially told Atlas to “fight it out with Tony and Debbie” rather than speaking with one voice. Again, this is a shallow state problem. As Dr. Atlas recently said, “There is no separation between what Trump said and did … and what the Fauci/Birx policy was.”

Thus, for the remainder of his presidency, Trump, while often issuing conflicting statements himself, allowed Fauci and Birx to run the show. Months later, they even featured Fauci in a campaign ad with Trump wearing masks. It wasn’t just a matter of Fauci declaring five weeks into the lockdown, “He has never overruled me,” but even in the final hours of the administration, Trump allowed Fauci and Birx to pressure the heck out of red states and demand that they impose lockdowns and masks. On January 10, 2021, at least 8-9 months after everyone knew these policies were immoral and unscientific, the White House was hounding DeSantis to shut down Florida. Here is the memo officials sent out as some inside and outside the administration were literally trying to engage in a coup against Trump himself.

The memo is riddled with myths that people like us had been debunking the entire previous year:

  • "Florida must increase both statewide and local public mitigation ... with masking, physical distancing and avoiding family gatherings."
  • "Ensure aggressive, proactive testing as many more individuals may be asymptomatic and actively spreading virus in the community.”
  • “All K-12 teachers should require weekly testing."
  • "Aggressive mitigation must be used to match a more aggressive virus ... without uniform implementation of effective face masking (two or three ply and well-fitting) and strict physical distancing, epidemics could quickly worsen.
  • “Messaging must be focused on proactive testing of those under 40 to prevent asymptomatic silent spread ... strongly recommend the creation of young adult testing sites."

Remember, this was long after DeSantis was already fighting local school districts on masking and shutdowns. Rather than empowering red-state governors to push back against what Cuomo and Newsom were doing in New York and California, the White House pressured them until the very last day. Indeed, Fauci and Birx were given a medal on the very last day , and all of the characters, including radical masker Jerome Adams, remained in charge until January 20, 2021. Fauci evidently got a special call of gratitude from the president’s son-in-law on that very day.

This is not some sort of obscure oppo research. We all lived through this. Even as a strong supporter of Trump’s re-election, I wrote a column on Oct. 26, 2020, begging him to fire Birx because she was “traveling the country demanding that states follow Joe Biden’s policies” even as a Trump White House official. Long before DeSantis was ever considered a presidential contender, I asked at the time, “Why is Dr. Birx still able to tour the country as a Trump administration official and propagate panic that directly conflicts with the espoused views of her boss?” Finally, I warned that if Trump won a second term, “he must speak consistently with one voice. Unless there is a policy shake-up, Birx will continue to promote Biden’s worldview even after he is defeated.”

Well, here we are nearly three years later with Trump still proud of those policies, now, including the ventilators and vaccines.

This is not just about Fauci and COVID. It’s a glimpse into the fact that we often blame the deep state for Trump’s troubles – undoubtedly a problem that needs to be rectified – but ignore the lack of control he wielded over his own White House. We forget the fact that most of his top political appointees did not share the values of his voters. Contrast that to Gov. DeSantis’ appointments of Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and Education Secretary Manny Diaz, and you will rapidly see how the only way to drain the deep state is to first fix the shallow state.

When a Florida Department of Health official who ran the COVID dashboard began to use her position to promote the Fauci agenda, DeSantis had her fired as early as May 2020. When the original surgeon general, Scott Rivkees, began promoting masks at a DeSantis press conference, the governor’s staff had him escorted out , never to be heard from again. That was April 20, 2020 . DeSantis’ opponents call him a dictator and a tyrant, but he understands that in order to drain the bureaucracies and mold actual policy outcomes, you need the administration to speak with one voice .

COVID, of course, is its own problem. Trump to this very day refuses to acknowledge any mistakes were made with the 2020 policies and even continues to bizarrely praise ventilators . To this day, he says how he doesn’t understand or recognize any adverse events with the vaccines and thinks they saved millions of people. TO THIS VERY DAY. He also continues to put out conflicting statements, including praising Cuomo for handling COVID better than Florida. For some people, even hindsight is not 20/20.

That in itself is a character problem, a focus problem, and a details problem. But the broader implication of his White House personnel choices during COVID revealed a lack of control over his own administration. So what exactly inspires confidence that he will have the personnel, policies, consistency, focus, discipline, and humility to learn new details to achieve any of our goals moving forward?

In that sense, this is not just about Fauci or COVID but about governing as a whole.

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