Photo via Facebook live

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, during an hourlong online conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday, criticized the Trump administration's coronavirus response and called for "a reset."

What he's saying: "[I]t's really disappointing that we still don't have adequate testing, that the credibility of our top scientists like yourself and the CDC are being undermined — and that until recently, that parts of the administration were calling into question whether people should even follow basic best practices like wearing masks."

  • Fauci addressed whether masks pose any health concerns: "No, not at all. There has not been any indication that putting a mask on and wearing a mask for a considerable period of time has any deleterious effects on oxygen exchange or anything like that. Not at all."

The big picture: Fauci, a leading expert in America's coronavirus response, has been under fire from the White House over his early statements on the pandemic — and said he has largely been sidelined from interactions with President Trump.

  • Fauci told The Atlantic earlier this week: "I just want to do my job. I’m really good at it. I think I can contribute. And I’m going to keep doing it."

Go deeper

Nearly 3,500 health officials defend Fauci in open letter to Trump

Anthony Fauci in June. Photo: Al Drago/AFP via Getty Images

Over 3,000 public health officials signed an open letter to President Trump, criticizing the efforts of White House officials to discredit Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Why it matters: Signatories include two former directors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two previous commissioners of the Food and Drug Administration, a former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and a former U.S. surgeon general.

The president's pandemic cues


Data: Axios/Ipsos polling; Chart: Danielle Alberti

President Trump's words and actions have shaped Republicans' perceptions and behavior on everything from wearing face masks to worrying about economic collapse, in an analysis of our Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index since the pandemic began.

Why it matters: When Trump talks, his base listens. That carries profound implications for efforts to limit the spread in the U.S., especially when he contradicts public health officials or state and local leaders.

Jul 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump says briefings without health experts are a "concise way of doing it"

President Trump said Wednesday that the reason health experts like Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci no longer attend his coronavirus press briefings is because they brief him on "everything they know as of this point in time" and he passes the information on to the public.

Why it matters: Before they were canceled in April, Trump's daily briefings grew infamous for being rife with misinformation, which his health experts would be forced to carefully contradict.