The United States president Donald Trump and his administration as criticized for the response by the federal government to the coronavirus pandemic by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in what is being called an unusual move.
Zuckerberg on Thursday criticized the work of the federal government for acting against the advice of experts while interviewing Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert.
“I just think that it was avoidable and it it’s really disappointing that we still don’t have adequate testing, that the credibility of top scientists like yourself and the CDC are being undermined and until recently that parts of the administration were calling into question whether people should even follow basic best practices like wearing masks,” Zuckerberg said.
New records of infections of novel coronavirus are being reached by the US every day. While there are many other countries in the world that have failed to control the spread of the pandemic, the trajectory of the rate of infections in the United States has been very distinct and it is currently the country with the highest number of infections.
“This government and our administration have been considerably less effective at handling this,” Zuckerberg noted.
Ignoring the advice of experts, there were some US states that were too hasty in reopening of their economies and had in fact violated their own guidelines for reopening, Fauci explained. He however also noted that despite some of the states properly following the safety protocols for a safe reopening, there were some citizens who “went from lockdown to caution into the wind.”
Coornavirus infections in the United States have spiraled out of control again because the country as a whole never allowed coronavirus infections to sink to a reasonable baseline, Fauci said.
“That’s a recipe for getting into trouble,” Fauci said.
In the interview, Fauci was praised by Zuckerberg. US president Donald Trump and his administration has criticized Fauci, both on and off the record, for his leadership in directing responses to the pandemic.
Zuckerberg however said that Fauci left out of his explanation of coronavirus’ return the government’s active ignorance and directives to disobey the best advice of scientists.
“You might be quite generous in your description of the government’s response,” Zuckerberg said.
The criticism of the Trump administration by Zuckerberg has been particularly noteworthy because he has been in the past widely criticized by many for being close to Trump. For example, despite popular demand, Trump’s controversial, hateful, misleading and false statements have been refused to be taken down or red flagged by Facebook. Zuckerberg said that these comments from Trump have been important for public discourse.
After a twitter post by Trump in which he said: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts”, indicating supporting the shooting down of looters by the police, Twitter had said that the post had violated its rules. Facebook however have not made any such mention.
This incident resulted in more than 140 scientists writing an open letter to Zuckerberg in which they urged him to “consider stricter policies on misinformation and incendiary language”. These scientists have received funding and support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative — Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan’s nonprofit initiative.
(Adapted from CNN.com)