Politics never takes a break — even in the middle of a pandemic.
But now Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, is telling journalists to stop pitting him against President Donald Trump during this COVID-19 health crisis. His comments Tuesday come after days of tweets focused on the doctor’s whereabouts during White House press briefings.
Fauci’s rebuke for members of the media came when “Morning on the Mall” podcast host Vince Coglianese asked him about queries from journalists “designed to create a rift between you and the president of the United States.”
“That is really unfortunate, and I would wish that that would stop,” Fauci said sternly. “Because we have a much bigger problem here than trying to point out differences. And really, fundamentally, at the core, when you look at things, there are not differences.”
“The president has listened to what I have said and what the other people on the task force have said,” he continued. “When I’ve made recommendations, he’s taken them. He’s never countered or overridden me. The idea of just pitting one against the other is just not helpful. I wish that would stop and we’d look ahead at the challenge we have to pull together to get over this thing.”
Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, did tell Science over the weekend that he does not often disagree on “substance” with the president. Instead, Fauci explained, Trump has expressed information “in a way that I would not express it, because it could lead to some misunderstanding about what the facts are about a given subject.”
For his part, Trump said during Monday’s White House press briefing that he believes Fauci is “a good man” whom he likes “a lot.” As to where he has been during the last couple of media gatherings, the president said he would “be back up soon.”