Anthony Fauci has been selected as one of the finalists for the "Oscars" in the public service. At the same time President Donald Trump claimed that even Dr. Fauci had downplayed the severity of the coronavirus.

Trump said this when he appeared on Fox News' 'town hall' on Sunday night. He said that "everybody,even Tony Fauci was saying it's gonna pass, not gonna be a big deal." It came as a response when he was questioned, why he didn't act sooner in order to prepare for a coronavirus outbreak, reported Business Insider.

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci Wikimedia Commons

Facts

However, Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), also a top official in the White House coronavirus task force, has reportedly warned about a potential disease outbreak as back as 2017. Also Trump was repeatedly warned previously by experts, as reported.

In a 2017 speech at the Georgetown University Dr. Fauci has said that there would be "no question" about a challenge coming to the administration in the arena of infectious diseases, "the thing we're extraordinarily confident about is that we're going to see this in the next few years," he said.

Fauci indeed downplayed it before

When the epidemic in January had not yet reached US Dr. Fauci had indeed told that coronavirus wasn't something Americans should worry "right now," as reported by Politifact. This shows that he had indeed downplayed the risk of an outbreak.

But as late as February 29, the top infectious disease expert in an interview to NBC's Today said that the risk of COVID-19 was "still low", however stressing the point that such a situation "could change" as soon as community spread were reported in the United States, which turned out to be the case.

Fauci for Sammies

Since then, Dr. Fauci has never been reported to have downplayed the coronavirus risks, he recently even warned of a second wave of the pandemic.

Recognizing the overall contributions of Anthony Fauci, he was also named as one of the 27 finalists of Sammies or the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, often called the "Oscars" for the best in public services.

Dr. Fauci who has 36 years of experience as an infectious disease expert, is nominated for the Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement medal. He has handled many disease outbreaks that includes HIV, swine flu, Zika and Ebola, under six different US presidents, reports Bloomberg.