May 15, 2020 - Health

Attacks on Fauci represent silencing "the inconvenient scientific voice," former health official says

Mike Allen and Andy Slavitt. Photo: Axios

Attacks on NIAD Director Anthony Fauci are part of a larger trend of "suppressing of the inconvenient scientific voice," Andy Slavitt, former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator, said at a virtual Axios event on Friday.

What he's saying: "Belittling him just keeps us on a track to saying that expertise doesn't matter, it puts us on a track to continue to silence people and to surround our decision-makers only with people who will nod their heads in agreement or at best try to work around something they don't agree with," he said.

  • "And it's really not a great way for us to be focusing on this crisis. And I'm distressed that there aren't enough people speaking up for Dr. Fauci," Slavitt said,

Driving the news: Fauci has been at the forefront of infectious disease outbreaks since the 1980s. He testified before Congress on Tuesday that schools should be cautious about reopening during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • President Trump on Wednesday said that Fauci's caution on reopening schools was "not an acceptable answer," during a meeting with governors at the White House.

Flashback: Slavitt tweeted on Thursday that attacks on Fauci were "a misplaced hit job" and "actually dangerous," while noting his long track record as an established health official in several presidential administrations.

The White House declined to comment.

Watch the event.

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Why it matters: The agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has launched an investigation into Floyd's death while in police custody, will be enforceable in court.