Fauci Corrects NBC Reporter Wanting Trump To "Take Responsibility" For "Failing": I Was Talking About The CDC | Video | RealClearPolitics

Fauci Corrects NBC Reporter Wanting Trump To "Take Responsibility" For "Failing": I Was Talking About The CDC

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At a press conference announcing a state of emergency on Friday, NBC News reporter Kristen Welker asked President Trump if he takes responsibility for a lag in coronavirus testing, something she said Dr. Anthony Fauci called a "failing." Fauci, who was at the press conference, corrected the reporter and said the failure he was talking about was the CDC's system, that it was not designed for what was needed. Fauci said looking forward, "the system will take care of it."

"Dr. Fauci said earlier this week that the lag in testing was in fact a failing. Do you take responsibility for that and when can you guarantee that every single American who needs a test will be able to have a test? What's the date of that?" Welker asked.

"No, I don't take responsibility at all because we were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time," Trump responded. "It wasn't meant for this kind of an event with the kind of numbers that were talking about."

"So just to reiterate what I said to many of you multiple times, it's the descent (PH) of a system," Fauci said. "The system was not designed--for what it was designed for it worked very well. The CDC designed a good system."

"When I said that, I meant the system was not designed for what we need. Now looking forward, the system will take care of it," Fauci added.

Welker tried to ask another question but was denied by the president.

KRISTEN WELKER, NBC NEWS: Dr. Fauci said earlier this week that the lag in testing was in fact a failing. Do you take responsibility for that and when can you guarantee that every single American who needs a test will be able to have a test? What's the date of that?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Yeah. No, I don't take responsibility at all because we were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time. It wasn't meant for this kind of an event with the kind of numbers that were talking about. And what we've done is redesigned it very quickly with the help of the people behind me and we are now in a very, very strong shape.

I think we'll be announcing, as I said Sunday night and this will start very quickly and we will have the ability to do in the millions over a very, very quick period of time. So no. And what we have done and we are going to be leaving a very indelible print for the future in case something like this happens again. But it was a--and that's not the fault of anybody. And frankly, the old system worked very well for smaller numbers, much smaller numbers, but not for these kind of numbers. Tony, maybe you'd like to say something.

QUESTION: By Sunday night will you have--

TRUMP: Tony, please.

QUESTION: Yes, please, by Sunday night, will every American be able to get a test?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: So just to reiterate what I said to many of you multiple times, it's the descent (PH) of a system. The system was not designed--for what it was designed for it worked very well. The CDC designed a good system. If you want to get the kind of blanket testing and availability that anybody can get it or you could even do surveillance to find out what the penetrance is, you have to embrace the private sector. And this is exactly what you're seeing because you can't do it without it. When I said that, I meant the system was not designed for what we need. Now looking forward, the system will take care of it.

QUESTION: And Mr. President, with respect--

TRUMP: And interestingly, if you go back--please. If you go back to the swine flu, it was nothing like this. They didn't do testing like this. And actually, they lost approximately 14,000 people and they didn't do the test. They started thinking about testing when it was far too late. What we've done and one of the reasons I think people are respecting what we've done, we denigrate very early. We've gotten it very early and we've also kept a lot of people out.



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