Trump claims lockdowns 'do not prevent infection in the future' and undermines Dr. Fauci's push to reconsider shutdowns in certain states
President Donald Trump on Monday claimed that the lockdowns implemented during the coronavirus pandemic haven't reduced future infections and "inflict more harm" than they prevent. "Lockdowns do not prevent infection in the future — they just don't. It comes back, many times. It comes back," Trump said at his press briefing. Earlier on Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said certain US states that are experiencing rising infection rates and case surges should consider reimposing at least partial shutdowns. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump on Monday claimed that the lockdowns implemented during the coronavirus pandemic haven't reduced future infections and "inflict more harm" than they prevent — contradicting Dr. Anthony Fauci. "It's important for all Americans to recognize that a permanent lockdown is not a viable path toward producing the result that you want," Trump said during his coronavirus-focused press briefing, adding that new lockdowns would "ultimately inflict more harm than it would prevent." Overwhelming evidence has shown that lockdowns around the country and the world have helped the spread of COVID-19. Trump went on to argue that lockdowns, which involve shuttering non-essential businesses and closing schools, are designed to "buy time" for states and localities to build hospital capacity, research the virus, and develop treatments, but aren't effective in preventing future outbreaks. "Lockdowns do not prevent infection in the future — they just don't. It comes back, many times. It comes back," he said. Earlier on Monday, Dr. Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert who's advising Trump, said certain US states that are experiencing rising infection rates and case surges should consider reimposing at least partial shutdowns. Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association on Monday that some states outside of the South and West are seeing an "insidious increase" in the percent of positive COVID-19 tests — an early warning sign that these places could soon see uncontrolled surges in the virus. Experts say these states include Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. "You may need to pause, you may need to drop back a little bit. I don't think you necessarily have to revert to go all the way back to reclosing," Fauci told JAMA. Fauci emphasized that it's of utmost importance to contain the virus before the fall when the influenza season begins. Dr. Deborah Birx, another top public health expert advising the federal government, said on Sunday that the coronavirus pandemic had entered a "new phase" and reached an "extraordinarily widespread" community spread in both urban and rural areas. Trump has undermined and publicly disagreed with Fauci on a number of issues related to the pandemic response. While the president has aggressively downplayed the threat the virus poses to Americans and resisted various efforts to mitigate the spread, he's accused Fauci of being an "alarmist" and calling for overly-extreme measures to fight COVID-19. On Monday, Trump called Birx "pathetic" after she issued her stark warning about community spread. SEE ALSO: Biden VP prospect Karen Bass claims Scientology hadn't been 'exposed' before her 2010 praise of it, despite several high-profile media probes in the 1990s and 2000s Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: The rise and fall of Donald Trump's $365 million airline
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As the US sees record-high surges in coronavirus cases, the White House is seeking to undercut...As the US sees record-high surges in coronavirus cases, the White House is seeking to undercut the country's top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has criticized the US response to the virus. White House trade advisor Peter Navarro penned an op-ed for USA Today Tuesday attacking Fauci and saying the infectious disease expert "has been wrong about everything" — from mask wearing to using hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment. As a director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci has offered science-based advice to Americans amid the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, which has at times been opposed by individuals in the White House. While the White House has urged states to reopen their economies amid the pandemic, Fauci has painted a much darker picture of the reality of the virus, calling it his "worst nightmare." Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Anti-China trade adviser has become the face of the White House's criticism of the country's top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci. White House trade advisor Peter Navarro penned an op-ed for USA Today Tuesday attacking Fauci, who serves on the White House coronavirus task force. The op-ed largely repeats what Navarro has previously said to other publications. Navarro, who has no public health expertise, wrote that Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, "has been wrong about everything," claiming the White House and public health officials have been at odds over a number of issues, including stopping flights from China at the end of January. Navarro also said Fauci was "flip-flopping" on his use of face masks to mitigate the spread of the virus. Fauci had explained that he discouraged the use of face masks at the beginning of the pandemic to reserve the little supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the national stockpile at the time for healthcare professionals at the frontlines. Though he believes that face masks won't completely prevent transmission, Fauci now encourages the use of face masks — at the very least, cloth facial coverings — to contain viral particles that could be present in an individual's saliva, adding that social distancing is paramount to impede infection. The infectious disease expert remains optimistic about the timeline of a coronavirus vaccine within the coming year, though he has cautioned people against relying on hydroxychloroquine — an anti-malaria drug — as a coronavirus treatment given a lack of sufficient evidence of its effectiveness. In the op-ed, Navarro claimed he showed Fauci "scientific studies providing evidence of safety and efficacy," despite a number of health experts saying it is still too soon to tell if the drug can safely treat the coronavirus. President Donald Trump also supported hydroxychloroquine as a treatment, even so far as to take it himself as a "preventative measure." Coronavirus whistleblower and vaccine scientist Dr. Rick Bright also discouraged the use of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment. He claimed in his whistleblower complaint that he was ousted from his top position at the Department of Health and Human Services because he refused to tout the drug as a treatment. Now, as the US sees record-high surges in coronavirus cases, the White House has encouraged states to reopen without a comprehensive coronavirus testing and contact tracing infrastructure — a vital component to reopening the country safely, according to health experts. Though seemingly unphased by the rising cases, as Trump referred to the rising cases as "embers" to be stamped out, Fauci has painted a much darker picture, calling the current situation of the pandemic his "worst nightmare." "Now we have something that turned out to be my worst nightmare," he said. "In the period of four months, it has devastated the world." Trump has attempted to assure Americans that the US by reiterating the low mortality rate of the virus. "Now we have tested almost 40 million people. By so doing, we show cases, 99% of which are totally harmless," Trump said. "Results that no other country can show because no other country has the testing that we have, not in terms of the numbers or in terms of quality." Navarro echoed the point in his op-ed, calling the lower mortality rate "the single most important statistic to help guide the pace of our economic reopening." "The lower the mortality rate, the faster and more we can open," he wrote. In stark contrast, the infectious disease expert said that taking "comfort" in the lower death rate could promote a "false narrative" on the development of the pandemic. "There's so many other things that are very dangerous and very bad about this virus," Fauci said. "Don't get yourself into false complacency."SEE ALSO: Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro claimed Fauci is 'wrong about everything,' as the White House seeks to discredit him on COVID-19 Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: July 15 is Tax Day — here's what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time