Texas lieutenant governor says he's done listening to Dr. Fauci: 'I don’t need his advice'

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AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he will no longer listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the nation’s top infectious disease experts, as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge in Texas.

“Fauci said today that he’s concerned about states like Texas that skipped over certain things,” Patrick told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Tuesday. “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. We haven’t skipped over anything. The only thing I’m skipping over is listening to him.”

Hours before Patrick’s remarks, state health officials reported unprecedented numbers: more than 6,500  new cases of COVID-19 and more than 6,000 hospitalizations.

Patrick was referring to Fauci’s remarks to federal lawmakers Tuesday, telling them he’s concerned about a “disturbing surge” of infections in Texas, Florida and Arizona.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, added that some states may have moved too quickly and skipped over checkpoints in the White House’s guide for reopening.

“He has been wrong every time on every issue,” Patrick said. “I don’t need his advice anymore.”

The White House guidelines for reopening include a downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period or a downward trajectory in the same time period of positive tests as a percentage of total tests.

Texas does not meet either guideline.

Responding to reports that hospitals in some parts of the state had nearly reaching capacity, Gov. Greg Abbott suspended elective surgeries at hospitals in four more Texas counties Tuesday.

And warning of a “massive outbreak” last week, Abbott also paused further reopening plans for Texas, closing bars and reducing restaurant dining room capacity.

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- my-christmas2013 - Updated at: 8:59 PM

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