Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Sunday falsely claimed that President Donald Trump was "muzzling" Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, from speaking to the public about the dangers of the coronavirus.
"I see no preparedness other than political talking points, putting someone in charge who is not a scientist, and muzzling the scientists," the former vice president said during an interview on ABC's This Week. "Mr. Fauci has been here all the way back to the Bush administration. What's going on here?"
Biden's claim comes a day after Trump and Fauci both denied the New York Times report about the director being muzzled, during a press conference addressing the deadly virus. A reporter asked Trump about the report, prompting him to say, "He was never muzzled." He then invited Fauci to come forward and address the "very dishonest question."
"Let me clarify it. I have never been muzzled, ever, and I have been doing this since the administration of Ronald Reagan. I am not being muzzled by this administration," Fauci said.
"We were set up to go on some shows, and when the vice president took over, we said, 'Let's regroup and figure out how we're going to be communicating.' So I had to just stand down on a couple of shows and resubmit for clearance. And when I resubmitted for clearance, I got cleared, so I have not been muzzled at all," Fauci continued. "That was a real misrepresentation of what happened."