Skip to main content
A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Video: Trump Twists Fauci’s Words


In this video, we show how President Donald Trump misquoted Dr. Anthony Fauci’s remarks in late February about the threat that the novel coronavirus posed for Americans.

At the White House on April 28, Trump — in defense of his early response to the coronavirus pandemic — falsely claimed that in late February, Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had said, “This is no problem. This is going to blow over.”

In a Feb. 29 interview, Fauci was asked if Americans should “be changing our habits.” He responded by describing the risk “right now at this moment” as “low,” so there was “no need” for people “to change anything that you’re doing on a day-by-day basis.” But he added that “this could change,” that people needed to be wary of “community spread,” and that it could develop into a “major outbreak.”

Trump repeated this false claim in a Fox News virtual town hall on May 3. “Everybody, even Tony Fauci was saying, ‘It’s going to pass, not gonna be a big deal,'” Trump said at the town hall.

As of the morning of May 4, the U.S. had more than 1.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and 67,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.

For more information, read our story, “Trump Misquotes Fauci on Coronavirus Threat.”

FactCheck.org does not accept advertising. We rely on grants and individual donations from people like you. Please consider a donation. Credit card donations may be made through our “Donate” page. If you prefer to give by check, send to: FactCheck.org, Annenberg Public Policy Center, 202 S. 36th St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.