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Dr. Anthony Fauci at White House coronavirus briefing

The White House on Monday claimed Donald Trump won't fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying the speculation that Trump is thinking about axing the infectious disease expert who sits on the coronavirus task force is "ridiculous."

"President Trump is not firing Dr. Fauci," White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

Gidley added, "Dr. Fauci has been and remains a trusted advisor to President Trump."

While Gidley blamed the media for the Fauci firing speculation, it was Trump himself who set off the firestorm, after he retweeted a California Republican who said it's "Time to #FireFauci."

DeAnna Lorraine, who ran a failed bid to unseat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, tweeted, "Fauci is now saying that had Trump listened to the medical experts earlier he could've saved more lives. Fauci was telling people on February 29th that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the US public at large."

Trump's retweet of Lorraine's comment led multiple Democratic members of Congress to defend Fauci — who hasn't been shy about disagreeing with some of Trump's decisions on handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I have known Anthony Fauci for years and would trust my family's health with him any day of the week," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) tweeted Monday afternoon. "The American people need to know the facts. Donald Trump must not sideline this vital voice."

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), chair of the House Oversight Committee, also called Trump out.

"Trump is lashing out at Dr. Fauci for speaking the truth," Maloney tweeted. "In times of crisis, we need voices of reason and sound medical advice from experts. Silencing Fauci and other medical professionals only does a disservice to the American people."

Gidley, however, defended Trump, saying he "clearly exposed media attempts to maliciously push a falsehood about his China decision in an attempt to rewrite history."

"It was Democrats and the media who ignored Coronavirus choosing to focus on impeachment instead, and when they finally did comment on the virus it was to attack President Trump for taking the bold decisive action to save American lives by cutting off travel from China and from Europe," Gidley said in the statement.

Gidley is overstating Trump's travel restrictions.

Trump did not "cut off" travel from China and Europe. He merely imposed restrictions on travel, which still allowed flights from those areas to come to the United States.

The New York Times reported that 430,000 people have traveled to the United States from China since the novel coronavirus first surfaced, including 40,000 since the travel restrictions were put in place.

Even more pertinent, Trump has a history of firing aides even after he says he has confidence in the job those aides are doing.

In 2017, Trump said he had confidence in former FBI Director James Comey, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before he unceremoniously fired them.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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