President Trump on Tuesday took a swipe at Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying his “pitching arm” is “far more accurate than his prognostications,” as the World Health Organization has warned against lockdowns to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
“Actually, Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications,” the president tweeted Tuesday. “‘No problem, no masks.’”
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, delivered the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day for the Washington Nationals in July.
“WHO no longer likes Lockdowns—just came out against,” the president added. “Trump was right. We saved 2,000,000 USA lives!!!”
The president was referring to World Health Organization envoy Dr. David Nabarro, who warned leaders against relying on lockdowns to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” Nabarro said in an interview with British magazine the Spectator.
“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it,” he said. “Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never, ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.”
“Look what’s happened to smallholder farmers all over the world. Look what’s happening to poverty levels,” he said. “It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition.”
The World Health Organization previously warned against nations lifting lockdowns too soon, fearing a second wave of COVID-19.
The White House, this week, has used the new comments from the World Health Organization, as well as a new report issued by the scientific community called “the Great Barrington Declaration,” which was authored by infectious disease scientists and epidemiologists from Harvard Medical School, Stanford School of Medicine and Oxford University.
A senior Trump administration official said this week that the declaration “said that the appropriate policy, the important policy to deal with this pandemic is something that centers on aggressive protection of the vulnerable, opening all schools, opening businesses and society, and ending the prolonged lockdowns.
“And that declaration and its policies have now been endorsed by over 8,000 medical scientists and public health officials all over the world, as well as thousands of doctors and over 300,000 citizens,” the official added.
The official said the declaration, and the World Health Organization’s shift, “aligns very strongly with what the President has said for months, and that is: Strongly protect the high-risk elderly and vulnerable, and open schools and restore society to function.
“And that policy stems very directly from his initial statements back in March, when he said the cure cannot be worse than the disease, and has followed -- has been followed with dozens of statements endorsing this policy,” the official added.
“The point here is that the President has, of course, always been using the latest science. His advisements has always been based on the science and the data,” the official said. “And that -- the President’s policy of protecting the vulnerable and opening society is now very publicly aligned with what many of the world’s top epidemiologists and health policy experts have been saying: that is, lockdowns do not eliminate the virus; lockdown are extremely harmful; and the best policy to save lives is to aggressively protect the vulnerable and open schools and society.”
However, Fauci in May also warned that extended lockdowns could cause the U.S. “irreparable damage,” and suggested “reopening the economy, reopening the country to try to get back to some degree of normal.”
Fauci, at the time, warned against reckless reopening and called for the use of “very significant precautions” as restrictions are lifted.