President Trump told journalist Bob Woodward in March that he didn't have much time to meet with Anthony Fauci about the pandemic because "this is a busy White House," according to new audio released by Woodward on CNN.
The big picture: Woodward excoriated Trump for suggesting that the coronavirus arrived in the U.S. in "one day," arguing that the president's refusal to meet with the nation's top infectious-diseases expert and listen to warnings from national security experts were "so irresponsible."
TRUMP: "[Fauci's] sharp. And he's doing a good job. He's very dedicated."
WOODWARD: "Have you ever sat down alone with him?"
TRUMP: "Yes, I guess, but honestly, there's not a lot of time for that, Bob. It's a busy White House. This is a busy White House. We've got a lot of things happening. And then this came about. Look, we have the greatest economy on Earth. The greatest economy we've ever had. And in one day, this thing came in and we had a choice to make. Close everything up and save potentially millions of lives, you know hundreds of thousands of lives. Or don't do anything and watch, look at body bags every day being taken out of apartment buildings."
FAUCI: "Who told you that?"
TRUMP: "Me. I told me that."