Jul 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on coronavirus in at least two months

Anthony Fauci with President Trump in May at the White House.
Anthony Fauci with President Trump in May at the White House. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Financial Times on Friday that he last saw President Trump in person at the White House on June 2 — and hasn't briefed the president on the coronavirus pandemic for at least two months.

Why it matters: His comments indicate that a rift may be growing between Trump and his top infection disease expert as the worst pandemic in a century surges in multiple states around the U.S.

What they're saying: "We are living in the perfect storm right now," Fauci told FT. "I have a reputation, as you probably have figured out, of speaking the truth at all times and not sugar-coating things. And that may be one of the reasons why I haven't been on television very much lately."

  • Trump publicly criticized Fauci Thursday, telling Fox News that he believes the infectious disease expert "has made a lot of mistakes."
  • However, the president did not describe any specific mistakes but called Fauci "a nice man," NBC News reports.

The big picture: In recent weeks, the Trump administration has ignored or downplayed soaring caseloads across the U.S., seemingly banking on the virus to run its course and for herd immunity to take effect, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.

  • Fauci warned in June that the country is "unlikely" to achieve herd immunity — even if an effective vaccine is developed — because of a "a general anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine feeling" within the country.

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