FLASHBACK: Dr. Fauci Called Trump's Coronavirus Response 'Impressive' and 'All Hands on Deck'
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For their debate Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) were ‘socially distanced’ and each had a large sheet of clear Plexiglas placed near their respective desks – to prevent a coronavirus bug from attacking unannounced, presumably, so, of course, the event began on the subject of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was debate moderator Susan Page’s attempt to allow Harris to begin the debate on a high note, and immediately she took advantage, pillorying the Trump administration’s ‘poor response’ to the outbreak while panning Pence as the administrator’s coronavirus response coordinator.
The New York Post’s Michael Goodwin noted:
For her part, Harris’ best moments came early, on the topic of the coronavirus, which polls show is the Democrats’ ace in the hole. She pressed the attack, calling the White House response the worst failure ever by a president and accused Trump and Pence of knowing about the lethality of the virus and “they covered it up.”
Yet she came up small when asked what a Biden presidency would do immediately upon taking office, saying it would focus on contact tracing and making vaccines free.
Pence practically jumped out of his seat, saying their plan “looks like plagiarism, something Joe Biden knows something about.”
Of course, Harris pooh-poohed and tut-tutted all of what Pence had to say. But later in the debate, when she was asked whether she would take a COVID-19 vaccine if or when it becomes available – Pence says by the end of this year – she answered in the affirmative, provided the recommendation comes not from President Trump but from the country’s chief immunologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
"If the public health professionals, if Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it – absolutely,” Harris said. “But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it.”
Pence hit Harris for literally putting Americans' lives at risk by politicizing a vaccine, and he's right. But it's the part about Fauci that got our attention.
Obviously, Harris trusts Fauci. Good. If Harris (and Biden) can take Fauci at his word regarding the safety of a future COVID-19 vaccine, then they can take him at his word when he assessed earlier this year that, in fact, the Trump administration was responding to the pandemic with a vigor and intensity he hadn't seen before.
In a March interview with Fox News host and top talker Mark Levin, Fauci praised the Trump administration’s response as “impressive.”
“Have you ever seen this big of a coordinated response by an administration to such a … health threat?” Levin asked Fauci March 22.
“Well, we’ve never had a threat like this, and the coordinated response has been…there are a number of adjectives to describe it. Impressive, I think, is one of them,” Fauci responded.
“I mean, we’re talking about all hands on deck,” he continued, noting that he, along with several members of the coronavirus response team, was working long hours and answering phone calls in the middle of the night – and had been for weeks – going all-out in their efforts.
“It’s every single day, so I can’t imagine that under any circumstances that anybody could be doing more,” he added.
So – are Biden and Harris prepared to change their assessment of the administration’s COVID-19 response after the most trusted member of the task force said, early on, it has been “impressive?”