Why not let Dr. Fauci take the lead on coronavirus fight?

I don’t feel much safer now that Vice President Mike Pence has been put in charge of the fight against the threatened spread of the coronavirus.

I wish instead that Donald Trump would have handed that duty over to a fellow who is immensely qualified and who has enormous stamina: Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the world’s premier immunologists and the current head of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases.

There he was, spelling out today in detail the problems facing the nation when — not merely if — the disease spreads in the United States. Then the president took the podium and declared that Mike Pence would lead the fight.

It made me go … huh?

Pence is claiming credit for enacting a health care program in Indiana, where he served as governor before joining the Republican ticket in 2016. Trump brought up the Indiana health care plan, calling it a model for other states to follow.

That’s great. But … I keep circling back to the actual and practical expertise standing near the VP on the White House podium in the form of Dr. Fauci.

He got his medical degree from Cornell University. He is a noted international expert on infectious disease.

I had the high honor of attending the HIV/AIDS international conference in Bangkok in 2004 along with other editorial writers and editors. We received an audience with Dr. Fauci, who was there representing the Bush administration and its own HIV/AIDS initiative. Fauci bowled us over!

I wish the vice president well as he leads this effort. My advice to the VP? Keep the phone line to Dr. Fauci open at all times.

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