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Mike Allen and Andy Slavitt. Photo: Axios

Attacks on NIAD Director Anthony Fauci are part of a larger trend of "suppressing of the inconvenient scientific voice," Andy Slavitt, former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator, said at a virtual Axios event on Friday.

What he's saying: "Belittling him just keeps us on a track to saying that expertise doesn't matter, it puts us on a track to continue to silence people and to surround our decision-makers only with people who will nod their heads in agreement or at best try to work around something they don't agree with," he said.

  • "And it's really not a great way for us to be focusing on this crisis. And I'm distressed that there aren't enough people speaking up for Dr. Fauci," Slavitt said,

Driving the news: Fauci has been at the forefront of infectious disease outbreaks since the 1980s. He testified before Congress on Tuesday that schools should be cautious about reopening during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • President Trump on Wednesday said that Fauci's caution on reopening schools was "not an acceptable answer," during a meeting with governors at the White House.

Flashback: Slavitt tweeted on Thursday that attacks on Fauci were "a misplaced hit job" and "actually dangerous," while noting his long track record as an established health official in several presidential administrations.

The White House declined to comment.

Watch the event.

Go deeper

Updated Aug 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump accuses FDA of thwarting coronavirus response, after admin limits testing oversight

President Trump at the White House on Aug 20. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday baselessly accused the Food and Drug Administration — which he likened to the "deep state, or whoever" — of making it harder for drug companies to distribute coronavirus treatments and vaccines.

Why it matters: Trump's tweet comes on the heels of a policy change by the Department of Health and Human Services to block the FDA's ability to regulate lab-developed tests, including for the coronavirus — which has public health experts worried that unreliable COVID-19 tests could go to market.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot — FDA panel endorses Pfizer vaccines for 5-11 year olds — Moderna says vaccine shows strong immune response in kids
  2. Health: 96% of Tyson Foods employees vaccinated ahead of mandate deadline — U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers — Those who miss work without pay due to COVID also had food insecurity
  3. Politics: Alabama governor orders state agencies to fight federal vaccine mandate — Axios-Ipsos poll: Confidence in Biden COVID recovery tumbles — New York City police union files lawsuit against vaccine mandate.
  4. Education: Benefits of vaccine for children outweigh risks, FDA says — Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.