Trump official suggested to Fauci that they use ‘doggie cones’ to solve coronavirus PPE crisis

Health official told Fauci that the idea ‘sounds crazy but can help’

John Bowden
Wednesday 02 June 2021 18:50
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<p>Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S.’s top infectious disease expert, attends a congressional hearing.</p>

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S.’s top infectious disease expert, attends a congressional hearing.

An official in the office of former US Health Secretary Alex Azar suggested that health care workers wear “doggie cones” amid a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) that occurred in 2020.

The suggestion was made to Dr Anthony Fauci, a member of former President Donald Trump’s Covid-19 task force, in an email released to The Washington Post on Wednesday under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

In a 3 April email to Dr Fauci, a Health and Human Services official identified as Karen Becks suggested what she admitted was a “crazy idea” to help medical personnel struggling to obtain the proper protective gear necessary to prevent transmission of the virus.

Ms Becks wrote that as she sat “here at home and have been thinking about the shortage of medical supplies”, she realized “doggie cones actually can be used as protection for our health care workers”.

“Just a thought that looks and sounds crazy but can help,” Ms Becks continued, adding, “Thank you so much for keeping things honest and know that I am such a champion of you.”

The suggestion was never repeated publicly by Dr Fauci, who wrote back: “Thanks for your note. Best regards, Tony.”

The Independent has reached out to HHS for clarification on Ms Becks’s role within the agency.

Several thousand pages of Dr Fauci’s emails related to the Covid-19 pandemic and the Trump administration’s response were released on Wednesday, revealing the role of the US’ top infectious disease expert in responding to numerous and often redundant queries about the pandemic from a variety of sources.

The emails also depict Dr Fauci’s increasing exasperation towards some of the more bizarre responses from both fans and critics to his media appearances, including threats from supporters of Mr. Trump, who became a frequent opponent of Fauci in the later months of his presidency.

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