USA Today Says Peter Navarro’s Article Attacking Fauci Didn’t Meet Our Fact-Checking Standards

USA Today has said an op-ed it published attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci contained misleading statements. The newspaper is at the center of a storm involving the White House and the Coronavirus.

President Donald Trump’s economic adviser Peter Navarro wrote the op-ed attacking Fauci, which the newspaper now admits it did not correct the article for errors.

USA Today added a note to the web page carrying Navarro’s article. They sought commentary from the White House in reaction to their editorial praising Fauci. The note was signed off by editorial page editor Bill Sternberg.

“Navarro provided a response that was published as an Opposing View paired with our editorial,” the newspaper wrote.

“We dealt directly with Navarro and do not know whether he spoke to anyone else at the White House about his statement.”

“Navarro’s response echoed comments made to other news outlets in recent days. We felt it was newsworthy because it expanded on those comments, put an on-the-record name to the attacks on Fauci, and contradicted White House denials of an anti-Fauci campaign,” the note went on.

“However, several of Navarro’s criticisms of Fauci — on the China travel restrictions, the risk from the coronavirus and falling mortality rates — were misleading or lacked context.”

“As such, Navarro’s op-ed did not meet USA TODAY’s fact-checking standards.”

The article became a hot topic as the administration pushed to discredit Fauci. The White House denied it had been cleared, but it later emerged the President had authorized it.

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