President Trump plans to make Anthony Fauci a prime target at upcoming rallies, using increased attention to the Wuhan lab leak theory as a weapon against an official long considered more trustworthy.
Why is this important: Trump and the conservative media have made Fauci an unlikely face of the opposition, trying to give him the comic book villain status once accorded to former Senator Harry Reid, President Nancy Pelosi or – in Trump’s case – to Hillary Clinton.
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Trump stepped up his longtime Fauci rants yesterday in a statement calling for COVID remedies from China:
” Correspondence between Dr Fauci and China talks too loud for anyone to ignore. China should pay America and the world ten trillion dollars for the death and destruction they caused! “
What we hear: Expect Trump to shine a light on Fauci tomorrow at a dinner at North Carolina’s annual Republican convention in Greenville – Trump’s second big speech, after CPAC, since he stepped down.
Jason Miller, Trump’s senior adviser told Axios the base had a “visceral” reaction to Fauci: “People see Anthony Fauci and they think of businesses closed, school lost.”
Screenshot: Fox News
The big picture: Fox News prime-time stars are amplifying their Fauci rants based on new questions about the origins of COVID.
“[A]All the smiling morons in the American media completely changed their point of view overnight, ”Tucker Carlson said last night, 24 hours after he said Fauci should be the subject of a criminal investigation.
“THE FAUCI LORD EXPOSED,” says a graph from Tucker. Another nicknamed him “Lord Fauci, patron saint of Wuhan”.
Sean hannity jumped the barrel last night with a graphic calling the new revelations “FAUCI FALL”.
Reality check: The theory that most experts still believe is the most likely is that the virus was transmitted from a bat to another animal species and then to humans. This is what has happened with many other viruses.
But this has not been proven. A group of experts – and now the Biden administration – are calling for further investigation into the possibility that the virus infected workers studying the student in a Wuhan lab, who then infected others.
Fauci himself told the Financial Times (subscription) that China should release the medical records of nine people whose illnesses could provide vital clues as to whether COVID is the result of a lab leak.
“I have always felt that the overwhelming probability – given our experience with SARS, MERS, Ebola, HIV, avian flu, the swine flu pandemic of 2009 – was that the virus has jumped out of species, ” Fauci said. “But we must continue to investigate until a possibility is proven.”
Fauci fired the idea that the NIH could bear some responsibility for the pandemic, telling the FT: “Are you really saying that we are involved because we gave $ 120,000 a year to a multibillion dollar institution? for bat monitoring?
And after: Trump is planning a pair of rallies just before July 4. Look for Trump to try and make Fauci a punching bag.
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