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.

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Updated Aug 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Republicans and Democrats react to Trump's coronavirus aid action

President Trump speaks to workers at a manufacturing facility in Clyde, Ohio, on Thursday. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Some Republicans joined Democrats in criticizing President Trump Saturday night for taking executive action on coronavirus aid, with Democratic leaders demanding the GOP return to negotiations after stimulus package talks broke down a day earlier.

Why it matters: Trump could face legal challenges on his ability to act without congressional approval, where the constitutional power lies on federal spending. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) was the most vocal Republican critic, saying in a statement: "The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 19,863,850 — Total deaths: 731,374 — Total recoveries — 12,117,346Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,044,864 — Total deaths: 162,938 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on unemployment — Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department.
  4. States: New York reports lowest rate of positive coronavirus test results since pandemic began
  5. Public health: Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths by end of 2020. 
  6. Schools: 97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks — Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral .
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World coronavirus updates

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

Australian officials in Victoria announced another 19 deaths from COVID-19 on Monday morning local time, breaking the state and national record set the previous day of 17. Victoria also reported 322 new cases — the lowest in 13 days.

The big picture: Australia was on track to suppress the virus in May, but cases have been spiking in Victoria in recent weeks, where a state of disaster was declared last week, enabling officials to introduce restrictions including a night-time curfew in state capital Melbourne.