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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15 states broke single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: Compiled from state health departments by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

At least 15 states broke their single-day novel coronavirus infection records this week, according to state health department data reviewed by Axios.

The big picture: The number of coronavirus cases increased in the vast majority of states over the last week, and decreased in only two states plus the District of Columbia, Axios' Andrew Withershoop and Caitlin Owens report.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 11,143,945 — Total deaths: 527,681 — Total recoveries — 6,004,593Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 2,818,588 — Total deaths: 129,584 — Total recoveries: 883,561 — Total tested: 34,213,497Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona's hot spot reach near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.
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In photos: America celebrates July 4 during global pandemic

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

The U.S. has already celebrated Easter, graduations and so much more during the coronavirus pandemic, and now it can add July 4 to the list.

The state of play: Axios' Stef Kight writes public parades and fireworks displays around much of the country are being canceled to prevent mass gatherings where the virus could spread. Hot-dog contests and concerts will play to empty stands and virtual audiences — all while American pride treads an all-time low.