Dr. Anthony Fauci speculated in recent remarks that his bluntness on the issue of the coronavirus pandemic might be the reason he has been largely absent from television in recent weeks.
The longtime National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, who has been a prominent figure on the White House’s coronavirus task force, has been sidelined recently as the president seeks to strike an optimistic tone regarding the ongoing outbreak.
He addressed the issue in a recent interview with the Financial Times.
“That may be one of the reasons”
“I have a reputation, as you probably have figured out, of speaking the truth at all times and not sugar-coating things,” he said. “And that may be one of the reasons why I haven’t been on television very much lately.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed that the infectious-disease expert had appeared on just six news programs since June 1, according to The Hill.
The president has recently asserted that the nation is “in a good place” despite significant spikes in confirmed cases across much of the United States. Fauci, on the other hand, has argued that there is still a danger of the situation spiraling out of control.
Additionally, Fauci confirmed that he had not seen the president since early June, highlighting the administration’s shift toward reopening the economy.
“Obviously not the case”
He went on to rebuff Trump’s assertion that 99% of coronavirus cases are “totally harmless,” noting that he is not sure where that figure originated.
“What I think happened is that someone told him that the general mortality is about 1%,” Fauci said. “And he interpreted, therefore, that 99% is not a problem, which is obviously not the case.”
Trump has also pushed back against Fauci, including criticism expressed in a Fox News Channel interview on Thursday.
“Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes,” the president told host Sean Hannity.
The bottom line is that there is still much the experts need to learn about the coronavirus even as states continue to pursue varying stages of reopening. While Fauci’s direct approach is undoubtedly effective in certain cases, the president appears to be taking in data from a variety of sources as he leads the nation through this crisis.