Anthony Fauci with President Trump in May at the White House. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Financial Times on Friday that he last saw President Trump in person at the White House on June 2 — and hasn't briefed the president on the coronavirus pandemic for at least two months.

Why it matters: His comments indicate that a rift may be growing between Trump and his top infection disease expert as the worst pandemic in a century surges in multiple states around the U.S.

What they're saying: "We are living in the perfect storm right now," Fauci told FT. "I have a reputation, as you probably have figured out, of speaking the truth at all times and not sugar-coating things. And that may be one of the reasons why I haven't been on television very much lately."

  • Trump publicly criticized Fauci Thursday, telling Fox News that he believes the infectious disease expert "has made a lot of mistakes."
  • However, the president did not describe any specific mistakes but called Fauci "a nice man," NBC News reports.

The big picture: In recent weeks, the Trump administration has ignored or downplayed soaring caseloads across the U.S., seemingly banking on the virus to run its course and for herd immunity to take effect, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.

  • Fauci warned in June that the country is "unlikely" to achieve herd immunity — even if an effective vaccine is developed — because of a "a general anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine feeling" within the country.

Go deeper: We're losing the war on the coronavirus

Go deeper

Fauci: COVID-19 is "almost your worst nightmare"

Anthony Fauci, using a baseball analogy for the fight against COVID-19, warns the U.S. may not be halfway through and "certainly we're not winning the game right now." Photo: Al Drago/AFP via Getty Images

The unique characteristics of this pandemic may not allow people to completely eradicate it, but public health measures and good vaccines should bring "very good control," NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday.

Driving the news: "We are living, right now, through a historic pandemic outbreak. And, we are, right now, in a situation where we do not see any particular end in sight," Fauci told a panel hosted by the not-for-profit TB Alliance.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 18,288,573 — Total deaths: 693,805 — Total recoveries — 10,916,907Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 4,713,562 — Total deaths: 155,469 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Education — Fauci: Schools can reopen with safeguards, but those in virus hot spots should remain closed
  4. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  5. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  6. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.
Updated 3 hours ago - Science

Hurricane Isaias lashes the Carolinas

People walk through floodwaters on Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Hurricane Isaias made landfall as a Category 1 storm near Ocean Isle Beach in southern North Carolina at 11:10 p.m. ET Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, per the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

What's happening: Hurricane conditions were spreading onto the coast of eastern South Carolina and southeastern N.C., the NHC said in an 11 p.m. update. Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT News the eye of the storm triggered "a series of fires at homes" and "a lot of flooding." Fire authorities said they were responding to "multiple structure fires in the area."