Top infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: Spotlight on Georgia voting law; lawmakers tackle gun violence, border surge Hundreds of thousands of deaths averted because of COVID vaccines Bill Gates predicts world will be ‘back to normal’ by end of 2022 MORE said in an interview aired on Sunday that former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden’s prediction on Afghanistan withdrawal spurs doubts Trump the X-factor in Virginia governor race Trump says he’ll likely visit southern border soon MORE’s call to “liberate” Virginia and Michigan “hit me like a punch in the chest.”
Fauci described his reaction to the former president’s tweets and comments starting in mid-Aprilthat called for the reopening of state governments during coronavirus lockdowns during a CNN Special Report.
“The thing that hit me like a punch to the chest was then all of a sudden he got up and said ‘Liberate Virginia, Liberate Michigan,’” Fauci said of Trump. “And I said to myself, ‘Oh my goodness. What is going on here?’”
“It shocked me because it was such a jolt to what we were trying to do,” Fauci told CNN’s Sanjay Gupta.
Former White House coronavirus coordinator Deborah BirxDeborah BirxBirx says COVID-19 death toll ‘could have been mitigated’ Trump says Fauci ‘a promoter more than anything’ Birx: Trump’s disinfectant injection moment was ‘extraordinarily uncomfortable’ MORE also told Gupta that Trump told her at the time the U.S. “will never shut the country down again.”
“The one policy directive he gave to me in April, which was the last time I really had any briefing with him in that kind of way, was we will never shut the country down again.”
Throughout the year, Trump spoke out more in support of reopening the country’s economy, arguing that the U.S. could not function under lockdown for longer.
Most states reopened at least some of their businesses by the end of May.
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