The Trump administration's deputy chief of staff for communications posted a cartoon critical of Dr. Anthony Fauci on Facebook over the weekend, sharing the work of an artist who was barred from the White House last year for anti-Semitic imagery.
Dan Scavino, President Donald Trump’s social media adviser, posted a Ben Garrison cartoon to his Facebook page on July 12. The cartoon depicted the country’s top infectious disease expert as a faucet drowning Uncle Sam and the economy with demands to close schools, impose lockdowns, and cancel the NFL season.
“Sorry, Dr. Faucet! At least you know if I’m going to disagree with a colleague, such as yourself, it’s done publicly — and not cowardly, behind journalists with leaks. See you tomorrow!” Scavino wrote in the post’s caption. Scavino’s post garnered more than 12,000 reactions and 6,000 shares on Facebook.
Garrison is a popular right-wing cartoonist who was invited by President Donald Trump to a July 2019 White House social media summit. Days later, the White House said Garrison was no longer attending after Garrison’s past work elicited outrage and was labeled as anti-Semitic.
One Garrison cartoon from 2017 featured an ominous hand, labeled ‘Rothschilds,’ controlling prominent Jewish, progressive financier George Soros with puppet strings. In the cartoon, Soros himself had David Petraeus and H.R. McMaster attached to puppet strings.
The Anti-Defamation League called the cartoon “blatantly anti-Semitic” and said Garrison attempted to portray McMaster as a puppet of a Jewish conspiracy — playing into centuries-old hateful tropes that accuse Jews of controlling the government.
Scavino’s Facebook post fits in with a larger White House effort that has characterized Fauci’s outlook on the coronavirus pandemic as overly negative. On Monday, Trump retweeted multiple posts that expressed dissatisfaction with Fauci for his dire assessments of the pandemic.
The White House denied on Monday it was conducting a smear campaign against Fauci, after multiple news outlets were told administration officials were concerned about the immunologist being wrong during the early weeks of the outbreak.