White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Monday said he has no regrets over his op-ed blasting top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, taking the opportunity to further mock Fauci over the doctor’s botched first pitch at the Washington Nationals’ season opener.
Amid a concerted White House effort earlier this month to discredit the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Navarro published a column in USA Today trashing Fauci, claiming the public-health expert “has been wrong about everything” on the coronavirus pandemic.
The White House, meanwhile, attempted to distance itself from Navarro’s op-ed, claiming the Trump aide was acting “alone” and that the column didn’t go through the “normal White House clearance process.” At the same time, Navarro has not apparently suffered any repercussions for his actions.
Appearing on Fox & Friends, the president’s favorite morning program, Navarro was asked directly by co-host Brian Kilmeade if he regretted writing the overly critical op-ed.
“No,” Navarro replied, laughing. “You know, the only thing I regret is Dr. Fauci’s pitch the other day at Opening Day. I felt bad for him.”
He added: “But I always look forward and we are all part of the team and he actually tells people to wear the mask and my job is to get them made.”
Kilmeade followed up by wondering aloud whether Navarro and Fauci have spoken since the piece was published, prompting the Trump adviser to confirm that they have not.
“What would you like to say to them,” co-host Steve Doocy interjected.
“Let’s fight this China virus and beat it together with the president,” Navarro responded, using his favorite inflammatory term to describe the novel coronavirus.
Reacting to the White House efforts to scapegoat him, Fauci said earlier this month that the attacks were “bizarre” and that “it ultimately hurts the president.”