//Assistant Sec. For Health: Dr. Fauci Not Always ‘100% Right,’ Advises From ‘Very Narrow’ Public Health POV

Assistant Sec. For Health: Dr. Fauci Not Always ‘100% Right,’ Advises From ‘Very Narrow’ Public Health POV

Admiral Brett P. Giroir, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Health, told NBC News on Sunday that Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is not always “100% right” and does not, by his own admission, have “the whole national interest in mind,” instead maintaining a “very narrow public health point of view.”

NBC News host Chuck Todd asked Giroir if there were ever situations where the Coronavirus Task Force wanted to implement something but did not bring up the idea to the administration because they feared President Donald Trump would say no.

“I want to just put this to rest,” Giroir said. “There is complete open, honest discussion within the task force. Task force meets three to four times a week. The vice president calls me regularly. Dr. Birx is not one to hold her tongue. Believe me, if there’s a public health opinion that needs to be said, that needs to be it.”

“And I respect Dr. Fauci a lot, but Dr. Fauci is not 100% right and he also doesn’t necessarily, and he admits that, have the whole national interest in mind,” Giroir continued. “He looks at it from a very narrow public health point of view.”

“But let me just say there is absolutely open discourse,” Giroir concluded. “I feel absolutely free saying anything to the vice president within those rooms. The vice president, I know, briefs the president on a daily basis. So nobody feels like anything is held back. We all take this as a serious crisis. It’s got to be science driving the policy. And that’s the way it is.”

Video and partial transcript below:

TODAY on #MTP: Admiral Brett Giroir says “Dr. Fauci is not 100 percent right.” #MTP #IfItSunday@HHS_ASH: “He looks at it from a very narrow public health point of view.” pic.twitter.com/EE07SYXEAd

— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) July 12, 2020

 

TODD: And the final question I have for you is whether, whether — on this task force whether public health guidance is being sort of massaged a little bit. This was from the Washington Post about Anthony Fauci. It says, “Dr. Fauci has argued that parts of the country experiencing surges should shut down. ‘But there is no buy-in for that,’ said an official with direct knowledge of the conversation who spoke on a condition of anonymity.” Are there some ideas that you can’t propose because the president will never accept them?

GIROIR: I want to just put this to rest. There is complete open, honest discussion within the task force. Task force meets three to four times a week. The vice president calls me regularly. Dr. Birx is not one to hold her tongue. Believe me, if there’s a public health opinion that needs to be said, that needs to be it. And I respect Dr. Fauci a lot, but Dr. Fauci is not 100% right and he also doesn’t necessarily, and he admits that, have the whole national interest in mind. He looks at it from a very narrow public health point of view. But let me just say there is absolutely open discourse. I feel absolutely free saying anything to the vice president within those rooms. The vice president, I know, briefs the president on a daily basis. So nobody feels like anything is held back. We all take this as a serious crisis. It’s got to be science driving the policy. And that’s the way it is.

TODD: Admiral Giroir, I’m going to have to leave it there. I appreciate you coming on and sharing the administration’s perspective, sir. Thank you.

GIROIR: Thank you.

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