Peter Navarro did not get approval or clearance from the White House to publish the Op-Ed, Jasmine Razeghi reports.
On July 14th, Trump advisor Peter Navarro penned an Op-Ed for USA Today titled, “Anthony Fauci has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on,” that criticized Anthony Fauci and his credibility.
USA Today indicated that the Op-Ed did not meet the standard of its news outlet when fact-checked, as many of the claims Navarro made lacked context or misled readers.
What Made This Op-Ed Controversial?
Peter Navarro did not get approval or clearance from the White House to publish the Op-Ed. The President called it a mistake. White House director of strategic communications Alyssa Farah took to Twitter to clarify Trump’s relationship with Dr. Fauci. “@realDonaldTrump values the expertise of the medical professionals advising his Administration,” she tweeted.
Trump’s own response to the article was an assurance that the views of Navarro were not a reflection of his own. “He made a statement representing himself… he shouldn’t be doing that. I have a very good relationship with Anthony… We’re all on the same team, including Dr. Fauci,” said Trump
“Dr. Anthony Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public, but he has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on,” Navarro wrote. He went on to list the many disagreements he has had with Dr. Fauci, from removing flights from China to the use of hydroxychloroquine and treatment of the coronavirus.
“So when you ask me whether I listen to Dr. Fauci’s advice, my answer is: only with skepticism and caution,” the Chief of Staff concluded. What raises ears on this Op-Ed is that Navarro appears to be a lone voice with his attack on Dr. Fauci. However, his voice could read as one that echoes the beliefs of the Trump administration.
Reaction To Peter Navarro’s Op-Ed
Dr. Fauci spoke with The Atlantic and called the White House attacks toward him “bizarre” and noted that Navarro damaged the credibility of the President as well.
Chief of staff Mark Meadows spoke with reporters after he departed his flight from Atlanta yesterday. “Peter Navarro’s statement or Op-Ed or whatever you want to classify it as was an independent action that was a violation of well-established protocols that was not supported overtly or covertly by anybody in the West Wing.” Meadows claimed he has not read the Op-Ed but made clear that there should be distance between Navarro’s USA Today feature and the views of the administration.
“I think Peter Navarro spoke for himself. Any comments really just need to reflect Peter Navarro’s personal thinking,” Meadows added. When asked if the Op-Ed was a fireable offense, the chief of staff responded, “I don’t talk about personnel matters.”
Meadows was asked about the President’s response to Navarro’s statement.”The President spoke for himself, that he didn’t condone what Peter Navarro said or did… To characterize it any differently than what the President expressed for himself would not be appropriate,” he stated.
With Navarro breaking from the White House, many Americans may feel confused as to who they should listen to when it comes to the coronavirus.