Don Surber puts this into nice perspective, while quoting a NYT article that, from the excerpts, appears remarkably fair:
The New York Times reported, "A top White House adviser starkly warned Trump administration officials in late January that the corona virus crisis could cost the United States trillions of dollars and put millions of Americans at risk of illness or death.
"The warning, written in a memo by Peter Navarro, President Trump’s trade adviser, is the highest-level alert known to have circulated inside the West Wing as the administration was taking its first substantive steps to confront a crisis that had already consumed China’s leaders and would go on to upend life in Europe and the United States."
The story also said, "Mr. Navarro was at odds with medical experts like Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, who had argued that such travel bans only delay the eventual spread.
"Mr. Navarro alluded to that debate on Saturday during a separate argument with Dr. Fauci in the Situation Room about whether the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine was effective in treating or preventing the virus, according to two people familiar with the events."
So it was a political appointee -- not a health expert -- who got President Trump to restrict travel to Red China. Fauci opposed the restriction. Now Doctor Doom wants us to stay in quarantine for a year or more. And he casts shade on the cure. He is the enemy within.
UPDATE: Commenter titanbabe noted that the link above no longer works and that Surber appeared to have taken down the post that I quote from. That post was part of one of his generic "Highlights of the News" posts. The good news is that, far from backing down--which would have been very surprising--Surber has devoted an entire post to the Fauci - Navarro story: Not listening to experts saved lives. And it's just as pithy as you might expect. Surber begins by noting, as I did, the remarkably fair coverage of this story by the NYT:
The New York Times had an intriguing report that if true totally vindicates President Donald John Trump while implicating Dr. Anthony Fauci as the man who shrugged COVID-19 off as just the flu.
Here's how it ends:
Had President Trump listened only to experts, we would all be dead by now.
It was a political supporter and appointee -- not a health expert -- who got President Trump to restrict travel to Red China. Fauci opposed the restriction. Now Doctor Doom wants us to stay in quarantine for a year or more. And he casts shade on the cure.
I keep hearing from readers who believe he is the enemy within. Never discount the probability of incompetence.
Navarro, 70, has no medical training. He has a PhD and was a professor of economics and public policy at the University of California, Irvine as a professor of economics and public policy, and is now a professor emeritus. He also wrote, "The Coming China Wars," which likely drew Donald Trump's attention. Navarro's title is Director of Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, but obviously he is there because of his expertise on Red China.
In his January 29 memo on COVID-19, Navarro wrote, "If the probability of a pandemic is greater than roughly 1%, a game-theoretic analysis of the corona virus indicates the clear dominant strategy is an immediate travel ban on China."
Two days later, the president restricted travel from Red China.
And Navarro wrote in that memo, "Regardless of whether the corona virus proves to be a pandemic-level outbreak, there are certain costs associated with engaging in policies to contain and mitigate the spread of the disease. The most readily available option to contain the spread of the outbreak is to issue a travel ban to and from the source of the outbreak, namely, mainland China."
For anyone worried that Trump is being led around by Fauci, don't believe that. The fact that Fauci gave such glaringly bad advice militates strongly against that. Trump will be talking with clear thinkers like Navarro and Barr and others. They will help him make the call on ending the shutdown--not Fauci. Trump will of course accept advice from medical experts, but will certainly from experience how much weight to place on that advice.