Dr. Anthony Fauci at a coronavirus press conference at the White House. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Politico that the nation's political polarization is forcing him to "walk the fine balance" of informing the public about the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak and combating misinformation — which can sometimes come from President Trump.

What he's saying: "You should never destroy your own credibility. And you don't want to go to war with a president. ... But you got to walk the fine balance of making sure you continue to tell the truth."

The state of play: "I don't think that we are going to get out this completely unscathed. ... I think this is going to be one of those things we look back on and say boy, that was bad," Fauci told Politico.

  • "It could be really, really bad. I don't think it's gonna be, because I think we'd be able to do the kind of mitigation. It could be mild. I don't think it's going to be that mild either. It's really going to depend on how we mobilize," he added.

The big picture: Fauci, who has worked under six presidential administrations and took the lead on combatting the HIV/AIDS crisis while President Reagan was in office, is an infectious disease expert who has earned the trust of both Democrats and Republicans over his career.

  • "If I'm buying real estate in New York, I'll listen to the president of the United States. If I'm asking about infectious diseases, I'm going to listen to Tony Fauci," Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Worth noting: Fauci also denied to Politico that the White House had pulled him from televised interviews regarding coronavirus, telling the outlet that Vice President Pence's office — which is now heading the response to the virus — wanted to re-clear his appearances after taking point on the issue.

Go deeper: Coronavirus "infodemic" threatens world's health institutions

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ActBlue collects record-breaking $30 million in hours after Ginsburg's death

Mourners place flowers, messages, and mementos at a makeshift memorial in honor of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in front of the US Supreme Court on September 19. Photo: Samuel Corum / Getty Images

ActBlue, the Democratic donation-processing site, reported a record-breaking $30 million raised from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday in the aftermath of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, NPR writes and ActBlue confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters via the New York Times: "The unprecedented outpouring shows the power of a looming Supreme Court confirmation fight to motivate Democratic donors."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 30,557,899 — Total deaths: 952,981— Total recoveries: 20,822,644Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 6,730,304 — Total deaths: 198,679 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 93,150,052Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19 — Massive USPS face mask operation called off — How the American diet worsens COVID-19.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety net.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.
  7. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19.

Trump says Republicans have an "obligation" to fill Ginsburg's seat

President Trump. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

President Trump wrote in a tweet Saturday morning that Republicans have an "obligation" to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court following her death Friday.

What he's saying: "We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices," the president said, tagging the Republican Party. "We have this obligation, without delay!"