“Any effort to undermine it will not be productive”

Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call / AP

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally of President Trump, defended Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday after the White House made a concerted effort to discredit the infectious disease expert last weekend.

“We don’t have a problem with Dr. Fauci,” Graham said at a press conference in Columbia, South Carolina. “We need to focus on doing things that take us where we need to go. So I have all the respect in the world for Dr. Fauci. I think any effort to undermine it will not be productive, frankly. “

“Entering a competition with Dr. Fauci about whether or not he was right doesn’t move the ball forward,” added Graham.

The South Carolina lawmaker went on to say that it is more important to focus on where the United States is as a nation right now.

“The infection rate is going up. We are closing the entire country. It is time to open intelligently … We have to deal with the reality that we are not as prepared as we need to be, but we are moving in the right direction.” said.

Graham said the United States needs “better testing” and urged the Trump administration’s coronavirus workforce to “do everything possible to increase the testing components” because it will be critical, particularly if schools reopen in fall.

He also raised the question of whether the Defense Production Law should be used differently than it is used today to achieve this test objective. Because Graham said, “The test shortage is the shortage of reagents you need to perform a reliable test.”

“We don’t have enough real-time testing for the general population,” he said, noting that it may include an incentive for group testing in the upcoming Covid-19 aid bill.

Regarding masks, Graham said: “Whether or not you need a mandatory masking, does that change the corner? I don’t know, but I do know this: If people took it more seriously, it would help us as much as anything they can do. “

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