Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) defended Anthony Fauci at a press conference Tuesday in the wake of attempts by anonymous Trump administration officials to undermine the nation's top infectious diseases expert.

What he's saying: "We don't have a Dr. Fauci problem. We need to be focusing on doing things that get us to where we need to go. So I have all the respect in the world for Dr. Fauci."

  • "I think any effort to undermine him is not going to be productive, quite frankly," Graham added.

Why it matters: Fauci, one of the most trusted public health experts in the country, has been targeted by Trump's allies due to his frank assessments about the failures of the U.S. response to the coronavirus — which often contradict President Trump's and other top officials' more sunny outlooks.

  • Over the weekend, a number of media outlets received a statement from an unnamed White House official that listed the times Fauci was "wrong on things" in the pandemic's early days.
  • But as the Washington Post's Aaron Blake points out, many of the quotes the official cited omitted Fauci's caveats and ignored the fact that Trump himself had parroted some of the same talking points.
  • On Monday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany denied that the White House released "opposition research" on Fauci and claimed that he and Trump "have always had a very good working relationship." Fauci has said he has not been asked to brief the president in at least two months.

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Nearly 3,500 health officials defend Fauci in open letter to Trump

Anthony Fauci in June. Photo: Al Drago/AFP via Getty Images

Over 3,000 public health officials signed an open letter to President Trump, criticizing the efforts of White House officials to discredit Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Why it matters: Signatories include two former directors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two previous commissioners of the Food and Drug Administration, a former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and a former U.S. surgeon general.

Jul 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump says briefings without health experts are a "concise way of doing it"

President Trump said Wednesday that the reason health experts like Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci no longer attend his coronavirus press briefings is because they brief him on "everything they know as of this point in time" and he passes the information on to the public.

Why it matters: Before they were canceled in April, Trump's daily briefings grew infamous for being rife with misinformation, which his health experts would be forced to carefully contradict.

Jul 28, 2020 - Health

Fauci: Crunch time for coronavirus vaccine as late-stage trials begin

National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci at a Senate hearing in June. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The first volunteer in a late-stage trial for a coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health received a shot in Savannah, Georgia, at 6:45 am on Monday, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Catch up quick: Fauci said President Trump was briefed Monday that 89 sites around the country will be enrolling individuals in the phase three trial.