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."

The exchange:

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."

Go deeper: Woodward explains why he didn't hide his opinion of Trump in book

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Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for 2nd straight day
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.
Oct 24, 2020 - World

Poland's president tests positive for coronavirus

Duda. Photo: Sergii Kharchenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Polish President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for the coronavirus, a spokesperson announced on Saturday.

The big picture: Duda is reportedly feeling well and in isolation. His positive test comes amid a massive uptick in COVID-19 throughout the country and elsewhere across Europe.

  • Poland had previously warded off the virus with relative success, but is now facing a massive influx of cases that threatens to overwhelm its medical system.
  • The nation on Saturday tracked "13,628 new cases and 179 new deaths — a record number of deaths in one day since the start of pandemic," AP reports.
20 mins ago - Health

Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows defended Vice President Pence's decision to continue traveling and campaigning despite his exposure to aides who have tested positive for COVID-19, saying Sunday that Pence is exempt from CDC guidelines because he is "essential personnel."

Why it matters: CDC guidelines call for people who have been exposed to the virus to quarantine for 14 days. Meadows said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Pence will wear a mask when he travels and argued that "he's not just campaigning," pointing to the Israel-Sudan normalization agreement announced by the White House last week.