Trump says Fauci made ‘mistakes’ as Kudlow vows no more shutdown
President Trump spoke out against the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci today, saying he was “nice” but slamming him for making too many mistakes in the battle against the coronavirus.
“Dr. Fauci’s a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday according to CNBC. “They’ve been wrong about a lot of things, including face masks. Maybe they’re wrong, maybe not. A lot of them said don’t wear a mask, don’t wear a mask. Now they’re saying wear a mask. A lot of mistakes were made, a lot of mistakes.”
Trump is likely responding to a speaking tour that Fauci has conducted in the last week, criticizing the U.S. response to COVID and stoking fears that the worst is yet to come.
The issue between Trump and Fauci is the same issue that separates the experts: Fauci wants the U.S. to use mass quarantines to control the pandemic and Trump thinks that the quarantines have hurt the U.S. more than helped.
In the first quarter of 2020, the COVID shutdown cost the economy about a trillion in GDP and the number for the second quarter is expected to be much worse. The consensus amongst economists and the Federal Reserve is that we’ll see a 35 percent decline in GDP or nearly $7 trillion for the second quarter ending June 30, 2020.
Thus far, the administration has pumped in $2.4 trillion in fiscal stimulus payments to fill the hole, plus the Fed has been expanding its balance sheet, buying bonds of an equal amount, combining to nearly $5 trillion in total stimulus.
But there is still a big gap that can only be filled by jobs.
While another package of stimulus spending is expected, the U.S. can’t substitute government spending as an alternative to running the economy. If local communities have to shut down, that decision should be made by local communities, but the country as a whole needs to stay open says the Trump administration.
After Trump talked about the importance of keeping the economy going and expressed optimism for the future this week, Fauci immediately undercut the President.
“Fauci then told the Wall Street Journal Wednesday that states with rapidly expanding coronavirus outbreaks should seriously consider ‘shutting down’ like the country did when the virus first hit the U.S. in March. Trump and Pence, however, have vowed to keep reopening America and spent most of the week pressuring state leaders to reopen schools this fall,” says CNBC.
The Center for Disease Control and the NIAID seem remarkably unprepared for a pandemic, often over-hyping the dangers, with a bias for shutting down the country as the only tool to combat the virus, say some, even as the death rate remains low.
“It’d really be a big mistake to take a step like another shutdown,” Larry Kudlow, the top economic adviser to Trump said on CNBC.
“It would do more harm than good.”
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