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President Trump and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci during an April daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump called out Anthony Fauci Saturday in a comment retweeting a video of the NIAID director explaining why coronavirus cases have been surging in the U.S.

Driving the news: In the video of Friday's testimony, Fauci explained that while European countries shut 95% of their economies, the U.S. "functionally shut down only about 50%." Trump responded, "Wrong! We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000.

"If we tested less, there would be less cases. How did Italy, France & Spain do? Now Europe sadly has flare ups. Most of our governors worked hard & smart. We will come back STRONG!"
— Trump's comment on Twitter

Reality check: The rise in COVID-19 cases in early July came as new infections rose faster than the number of completed tests.

By the numbers: More than 154,300 Americans have died of the novel coronavirus as of Saturday night, Johns Hopkins data shows.

  • Over 4.6 million people have tested positive for the virus from over 56 million tests in the U.S. per Johns Hopkins. Almost 1.5 million have recovered.

The big picture: During his testimony, Fauci explained that the increase could be attributed to several factors, "one of which was that in the attempt to reopen, that in some situations, states did not abide strictly by the guidelines that the task force and the White House had put out."

  • In other states where officials did abide by the guidlines, "the people that were in the state actually were congregating in crowds and not wearing masks," Fauci added.

Of note: Fauci has been at odds with Trump and members of his administration in recent weeks over the handling of the pandemic.

  • Trump questioned at a briefing on Tuesday why Fauci has a much higher approval rating than him, noting the NIAID director is "working for this administration."

Go deeper: Coronavirus testing still can't keep up with demand

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker
Nov 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump adviser leading election legal fight tests positive for COVID-19

David Bossie joins President Trump's motorcade in May 2020. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

David Bossie, one of President Trump's outside advisers, has tested positive for the coronavirus after attending the president's election night party last week, sources familiar with the situation tell Axios.

Why it matters: Bossie is helping the Trump campaign lead a barrage of lawsuits to contest the outcome of the 2020 election, as the president continues to spread unsubstantiated allegations that widespread voter fraud and mail-in ballot irregularities stole the election from him.

Ben Carson tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson tested positive for COVID-19, ABC News first reported on Monday.

Why it matters: Carson is the latest in a string of White House officials to contract the virus — days after Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also tested positive. Like Meadows, Carson attended the White House’s largely mask-free election night party last week alongside a group of other top officials in President Trump's Cabinet.