Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the top medical experts on the White House coronavirus task force, assured the public that he could be trusted, even after a White House adviser ripped his record in a USA Today opinion piece.
Fauci told NBC News that the public should continue to trust medical experts to avoid becoming confused by seemingly mixed messages on how to respond to COVID-19.
"It's difficult to give you a definitive answer except that, for the most part—I believe, for the most part—you can trust respected medical authorities," Fauci said. "I believe I'm one of them, so I think you can trust me. But I would stick with respected medical authorities who have a track record of telling the truth, who have a track record of giving information and recommendations and policies based on scientific evidence and good data. So if I were to give advice to you and your family and your friends of your family, I would say that's the safest bet to do, to listen to recommendations from that category of people. But it's entirely understandable how the public could get mixed messages and then get a bit confused about what they should do."
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro wrote for USA Today that Fauci "has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on."
Among Navarro's examples are claims that Fauci opposed President Donald Trump's decision to limit flights from China, his inconsistent advice on the use of face mask, his insistence as late as February that the virus was low-risk, and Fauci's hesitation to advocate for the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19.
"So when you ask me whether I listen to Dr. Fauci's advice, my answer is: only with skepticism and caution," Navarro concluded.
The White House said Navarro was speaking for himself only in the op-ed, and that his piece was not approved by the White House.