President Donald Trump fiercely rejected Dr. Anthony Fauci’s viewpoint on why the U.S. has experienced a new surge of COVID-19 cases.
Dr. Fauci testified before the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on Friday. Fauci, a top member of the White House coronavirus task force, gave his explanation as to why new cases of coronavirus in European countries are decreasing while surging in the United States.
“If you look at what happened in Europe when they shut down or locked down or went into shelter-in-place. … They really did it to the tune of about 95-plus percent of the country did that,” Fauci said. “When you actually look at what we did, even though we shut down, even though we created a great deal of difficulty, we really functionally shut down only about 50 percent in the sense of the totality of the country.”
Trump staunchly responded to a CBS News video of Fauci’s comments by saying, “Wrong! We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases. How did Italy, France & Spain do? Now Europe sadly has flare ups. Most of our governors worked hard & smart. We will come back STRONG!”
The U.S. has tested approximately 60 million people for coronavirus. The European country with the most COVID-19 testing is the U.K., with over 16 million. Germany has tested 8 million, total testing for Italy and Spain is nearly 7 million, and France is at 3 million.
The U.S. has the fourth-most COVID-19 tests per one million population among countries most severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, trailing Qatar, Russia, and the U.K., which has the highest testing rate in the world.
The U.S. has 4.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, the most in the world. The U.S. also has the most novel coronavirus deaths, nearly 158,000.
Trump isn’t the only one to clash with the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases over his recent testimony. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) grilled Fauci during Friday’s hearing about the impact that nationwide protests have had on the spread of coronavirus. Trump retweeted the video of the tense exchange between Jordan and Fauci.
“Great job by Jim Jordan, and also some very good statements by Tony Fauci,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Big progress being made!”
Last month, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) berated Fauci over what he called the politicization of the COVID-19 response, especially the reopening of schools.