John Balentine’s tortured logic and excuse-making for the Trump administration is breathtaking, never more than in his “Pandemic Peeves, part III” (Sept. 11). His vilification of Dr. Anthony Fauci is undeserved and almost laughable.

Dr. Fauci is one of the world’s most respected infectious disease experts, having served the last six presidents in distinguished fashion and possessing six honorary doctorates. In denigrating Fauci’s work and nitpicking – he had his mask off for a minute at a baseball game; President Trump never wears one – Balentine is being small-minded. Fauci has had the courage to say when he was wrong on issues surrounding COVID-19. Trump never admits a mistake.

Balentine excoriates Fauci’s performance, yet has no problem with the president peddling bogus cures (Remember bleach and hydroxycholoroquine?) and not informing the public about the seriousness of the virus for months. He tells Bob Woodward one thing and the public another. It’s all on tape. And, somehow, according to Trump, it’s Woodward’s fault the public wasn’t informed. Or as reporter Phil Rucker put it,”But you’re the president.”

Balentine also has no problem with Trump ignoring the recommendations of his own CDC, having no plan to open schools safely, making fun of Joe Biden for wearing a mask and holding packed rallies with no social distancing and few masks. At his Nevada rally, most of the people within camera range were told to wear masks. Off camera, contrary to state regulations, there were no masks. Cute PR trick. It’s on tape.

The president’s failures on COVID-19 have been monumental, yet Balentine sticks his head in the sand. He spends his time denigrating Dr. Fauci, the adult in the room.

Balentine says it’s amazing Trump still allows Fauci to be on the virus task force. In reality, it is amazing he has stayed. They call that taking one for the team.

Tom Lizotte