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USA Today says column by White House staffer that attacked Fauci didn't meet fact-checking standards

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Posted at 6:27 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 19:29:52-04

NEW YORK — The newspaper USA Today says that presidential aide Peter Navarro's column about Dr. Anthony Fauci that it solicited and published did not meet its fact-checking standards.

Navarro's column, saying that the nation's top infectious disease expert had been wrong about several key pandemic response policies, ran in Wednesday's newspaper and online a night earlier. USA Today also ran a fact-checking column debunking some of Navarro's claims.

The episode is reminiscent of The New York Times disavowing a column by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton that advocated to sending federal troops to break up protests across the country. The Times' editorial editor, James Bennett, resigned from the paper after running the column. The Times said that Bennett did not read the column before it ran.

There's no immediate word on how Navarro's column slipped past standards and whether anyone will be disciplined for it.

In an interview with The Atlantic, Fauci called Navarro's column "bizarre," and said that the White House trade expert was "in a world by himself."