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USA Today Adds Editorial Note to Navarro Op-Ed Claiming It Did Not Meet 'Fact-Checking Standards'

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USA Today is adding a disclaimer to an op-ed written by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci’s credibility and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday evening, it appeared the online version had been updated with the note posted by Bill Sternberg, the publication’s editorial page editor.

Sternberg noted the editorial board published an editorial praising Fauci calling him a “national treasure” and criticized the White House for attempting to “undermine” or “sideline” him.

As a part of the publication’s “longstanding tradition,” the editorial board reached out to Navarro in order to provide readers with another point of view.

It was published as an opposing point of view paired with the editorial board’s editorial.

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The note went on to acknowledge Navarro’s editorial as newsworthy and explained why it did not meet the publication’s fact-checking standards.

“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,” Sternberg said.

He added, “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.”

Navarro’s op-ed claimed the infectious disease expert had “been wrong about everything” he has interacted with him on, as IJR previously reported.

Alyssa Farah, White House Director of Strategic Communications, later said his op-ed was not adequately reviewed and is “the opinion of Peter alone.”

As he left the White House on Wednesday, President Donald Trump was asked about Navarro’s op-ed, as IJR previously reported.

“He shouldn’t be doing that,” Trump said.

During an interview with The Atlantic, Fauci called the White House’s attempts to discredit him “a bit bizarre” and said it only hurts the president in the long run.

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