Former trade adviser Peter Navarro has made several disparaging comments against Anthony Fauci and former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney while promoting his book.
In a 24 November turn up on Steve Bannon’s show War Room: Pandemic on the far-right news website Real America’s Voice, Mr Navarro said he had asked the former president to fire the country’s top infectious diseases expert over the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The show has been known to give a platform to several conspiracy theories, including QAnon, during the pandemic.
Mr Navarro claimed to have told Donald Trump to “strangle that Fauci baby in his crib” to prevent a “Churchill with Hitler” situation in the White House, adding that the country’s top infectious disease expert was saved by former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
He pointed to the cover of his book In Trump Time, featuring a photograph of himself and the former president, and said this “may or may not be me telling the boss to fire Fauci”.
Mr Navarro additional that he had asked Mr Trump to fire Dr Fauci twice but was unsuccessful.
“Here’s the problem we had, Steve. We had two two forces that were pushing Fauci,” Mr Navarro said.
He pointed to the “big four in the healthcare bureaucracy”, including Alex Azar, former US health secretary, Robert Redfield, the director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health and Steven Hahn, former commissioner of food and drugs at the Food and Drugs Administration.
“They were all like Fauci is the best thing that has happened since sliced bread,” he said.
Mr Navarro claimed, however, that more than the bureaucracy, it was Mr Mulvaney who was scared of getting Dr Fauci fired.
“The bigger thing, breaking news here, was the coward in the chief of staff’s office. Acting chief Mick Mulvaney and the press shop were quivering in their knees at the thought that they might take any blowback if Fauci got fired,” Mr Navarro claimed, in strong comments against Mr Mulvaney.
“I don’t blame the chief for not taking my advice. What am I, Steve? I am like the trade and economics guy. Meanwhile he’s got all stuff going on… When Mulvaney-ites and the press people were going, ‘No we can’t fire him [Fauci], blowback’,” he further said.
“I go, no no, this is like Churchill with Hitler. Strangle that Fauci baby in his crib. Rip the band aid off. I lost that. If I had known everything in Kennedy’s book then, I would have blown him up,” he said, referring to Robert F Kennedy Jr’s book The Real Anthony Fauci , which blames the expert for the spread of the Covid pandemic.
Dr Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been consistently attacked by several conservatives throughout the pandemic.
Mr Navarro, in his book, alleged Dr Fauci was responsible for the spread of the disease, while propagating the conspiracy theory that Covid-19 was a biological weapon developed as a genetically engineered virus from a lab in Wuhan, without offering any evidence.
Mr Navarro has made repeated attacks on Dr Fauci in the past. In March, he blamed the pandemic on Dr Fauci and said, “Fauci is the father of the actual virus. Fauci’s the guy.”
Mr Navarro had also ordinarily sparred with top White House health officials in his stint there. In April 2020, he said he was qualified to measure the effectiveness of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine against Covid-19 because he was a “social scientist” despite not having a degree in medicine.
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