White House trade adviser Peter Navarro did not directly answer a question on Monday whether he regrets writing a blistering op-ed earlier this month in which he tore into Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, who has been a leading voice on the coronavirus task force, has been “wrong about everything.”
“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 in the op-ed for USA Today.
“The only thing I regret is Dr. Fauci's pitch the other day at opening day,” Navarro said on “Fox & Friends” on Monday as he laughed, responding to the question if he regrets writing the piece.
“I felt bad for him,” Navarro continued.
The nation's foremost infectious diseases expert, who was wearing a Nationals-themed mask, threw a pitch wide and left of the strike zone.
“I always look forward and we’re all part of the team and he actually tells people to wear the mask and my job is to get them made,” Navarro said as he continued to answer the question.
When asked if he has spoken to the doctor since the op-ed was published, Navarro said, “I have not.”
Host Steve Doocy then asked Navarro, “What would you like to say to him?”
“Let's fight this China virus and beat it together with the president,” Navarro responded.
In the op-ed Navarro complained Fauci was “flip-flopping on the use of masks.”
He dinged Fauci for downplaying falling mortality rates, amid the debate over whether businesses should be allowed to reopen or stay shuttered. Navarro added: “So when you ask me whether I listen to Dr. Fauci’s advice my answer is: only with skepticism and caution.”
Navarro’s comments come as tensions reportedly have been bubbling over between the White House and Fauci. Officials have been concerned about the number of times Fauci has “been wrong on things,” according to a report earlier this month.
A senior administration official, though, told Fox News that Navarro’s op-ed slamming Fauci was “definitely not approved by the White House.”
Another White House official told Fox News that Navarro is “going rogue.”
Alyssa Farah, White House director of strategic communications, said on Twitter that the piece “didn’t go through normal White House clearance processes and is the opinion of Peter alone.”
She said President Trump “values the expertise of the medical professionals advising his administration.”
Fauci responded to the op-ed by telling the Atlantic: “I can’t explain Peter Navarro. He’s in a world by himself.”
When asked if Fauci still wants to work with the administration and if he thought about resigning he told the Atlantic, “No.”
“I just want to do my job. I’m really good at it. I think I can contribute. And I’m going to keep doing it,” he added.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Daniel Canova contributed to this report.