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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump has not attended a White House coronavirus task force meeting in “several months,” NIAID director Anthony Fauci told MSNBC on Friday.

Why it matters: At the beginning of the pandemic, the task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, met every day, but in the "last several weeks," members have held virtual meetings once a week, Fauci said, even as the number of new cases continues to surge in the country.

  • The U.S. recorded more than 71,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, its highest daily total since July, per NPR.

What he's saying: Fauci told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that in Trump's absence, Pence conveys information from meetings to the White House.

  • “I definitely don’t have his ear as much as Scott Atlas right now. That has been a changing situation," Fauci said.
  • Atlas — who is a radiologist, not an epidemiologist — has become one of the president's favorite coronavirus advisers who has frequently clashed with other members of the task force over his controversial views and false claims.
  • Fauci added that the high number of new infections means the U.S. is in a "precarious place to be for a number of reasons."
  • He warned that several states "are having upticks in case positivities, which are in fact leading to increases in hospitalizations, which will ultimately lead to an increase in deaths."

The White House told Axios that “the president is routinely briefed about the coronavirus each and every day. The relevant information is brought to him on the big decisions, and then he moves forward in the way that's best for our country."

Worth noting: Trump has attacked the nation's top infectious disease expert throughout the pandemic, including calling him a “disaster” in his latest tirade on Monday.

Go deeper: Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks

Go deeper

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

21 hours ago - Health

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon tests positive for COVID-19

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) has tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced Wednesday, per CBS News.

The state of play: The governor has minor symptoms and will continue working remotely, according to his office.

24 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.