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The administration of former President Donald Trump, in an effort to preserve the economy he credited himself with building, frequently rejected even the most basic safety guidelines from Trump's own health experts in the face of the pandemic that's gone on to kill over 500 thousand Americans.

Trump publicly skewered the effectiveness of mask-wearing, dismissed the need for temporary lockdowns, and shared pseudoscientific misinformation about potential treatments for the virus.

This often put Dr. Anthony Fauci—a career public health expert and head of Trump's virus task force—in the unenviable position of publicly contradicting Trump's rosy outlook on the threat posed by the virus to Americans across the country.

The same can be said for Fauci and Trump's Trade Director Peter Navarro, who eagerly endorsed calls to prematurely reopen non-essential businesses across the country.

With Fauci now serving as the top health advisor for President Joe Biden, Navarro appeared on Fox News to blame Fauci for the virus' creation.

Watch below.

Navarro told Rachel Campos-Duffy of the conservative Fox News network:

"Fauci's the father of the actual virus. This virus, according to Bob Redfield at the Centers for Disease Control, came from a Wuhan lab ... I call it the Fauci Virus now. If he wants to be the father of something, he's the father of the virus that's killed over half a million Americans."

The claim that the virus emerged from a virology lab in its place of origin—Wuhan, China—has been a pervasive claim among the right since the early days of the pandemic, though the World Health Organization has said that it's "highly unlikely."

Navarro cited former CDC director Robert Redfield as supposed confirmation of the theory. Redfield recently said in a CNN interview that it was his "point of view," but emphasized several times that this was his own speculation, not a confirmation of the theory's validity.

Navarro's comments were met with immediate backlash, with many blaming him for the wave of misinformation regarding the pandemic that's been frequently broadcast from networks like Fox.





People were astounded that, until only recently, Navarro was in a position of power.




As the United States scrambles to administer as many vaccines as possible, health workers are being met with skepticism and outright refusal thanks to disinformation like Navarro's, which Fox News gleefully amplifies.

If vaccines can't outpace the spread of the virus—which has seen an alarming rise in the past two weeks—the virus will keep mutating and new variants will keep emerging. Unmitigated, it's a near-inevitability a variant will emerge that renders the millions of vaccines delivered in the U.S. ineffective.