How Fauci's relationship with the White House appeared to break down through the coronavirus response
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, emerged as an expert voice in the White House's chaotic response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. In the early days of the response, President Donald Trump praised Fauci, saying at a March press briefing he was "doing a tremendous job working long, long hours." However, Fauci's relationship with the White House has since grown distant from the outside as he was cut from appearances, openly broke with the administration on claims about the virus, and said in a recent interview he hadn't briefed the president in two months, though he didn't reveal why. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Dr. Anthony Fauci was announced as a member of the White House coronavirus task force on January 31. Fauci emerged early on as the widely recognized face of the US coronavirus response, offering sober forecasts and prevention recommendations as Trump largely downplayed the threat of the virus (and even floated conspiracy theories and unproven cures). However, in recent months, Fauci appears to have been sidelined by the White House as the coronavirus response has grown politically charged. President Donald Trump's administration was even reported to be attempting to discredit the infectious disease expert as states across the US are experiencing large surges in outbreaks of the virus. Here's a timeline of the reported decline in the relationship between the infectious disease expert and the White House:
Two months after announcing the task force as the administration was ramping up its response amid rising outbreaks across the country, Trump praised Fauci at a March 13 press briefing, calling him "Tony" and saying the expert was "doing a tremendous job working long, long hours." By early April, reports began to surface that indicated Fauci and Trump's relationship had begun to sour. On April 12, Fauci told CNN that "no one is going to deny" the US could have saved lives by instituting containment measures earlier on in the pandemic based on prior warnings from public-health experts. Later that day, Trump retweeted a post that included the hashtag "#Fire Fauci," which raised alarms that the public-health expert could be the latest in a line of administration officials ousted by the president. Fauci later walked back his comment and defended Trump's record with the coronavirus response. Following a May 4 interview on CNN, Fauci was noticeably absent from public appearances for about two weeks, before a May 21 town hall on CNN, where he said the public would "probably be seeing a little bit more" of him. On June 1, CNN reported that Fauci said he hadn't spoken to Trump in two weeks. As cases surged across the US in June and Trump continued to downplay outbreaks, Fauci found other platforms to speak out on the state of the country through other outlets. "As a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don't think you can say we're doing great," he said on a FiveThirtyEight podcast aired July 9. "I mean, we're just not." In an interview with the Financial Times published on July 10, Fauci revealed he hadn't seen the president since June 2 and hadn't briefed him in at least two months, though he continued meetings with the task force. Fauci's apparently distant relationship with the White House took a turn in mid-July when an unnamed White House official told CNN that the administration had drawn up a list of "wrong" things Fauci had said in February and March that have since been scrapped from his recommendations for Americans. Peter Navarro, a trade adviser for Trump, told the Post in a statement on Fauci's distance from the White House that while "Dr. Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public, but he has been wrong about everything I have ever interacted with him on." Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany bat down reports characterizing Trump and Fauci as at odds, saying at a July 13 press briefing that "the notion of opposition research and 'Fauci versus the president' couldn't be further from the truth," and the two "have a good working relationship." Trump echoed McEnany, telling reporters later that day he has a "very good relationship" with Fauci and does not intend to fire him. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid
More like this (3)
Public health expert says he could not resign as someone had to push back against ‘nonsense’Coronavirus...Public health expert says he could not resign as someone had to push back against ‘nonsense’Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageDr Anthony Fauci was the “skunk at the picnic” in Donald Trump’s White House coronavirus taskforce, the top US public health expert told the New York Times in a candid interview on Sunday. Related: Deborah Birx says Covid deniers in Trump White...
Dr Anthony Fauci made not-so-veiled critiques of the Trump administration during a White House press briefing...Dr Anthony Fauci made not-so-veiled critiques of the Trump administration during a White House press briefing on Thursday. He said the new administration meant he did not need to ‘guess’ when he didn’t know the answer to questions.The health expert said the new administration felt ‘liberating’ and he did not take pleasure correcting the president and facing consequences for doing so.But Fauci pushed back...
Fauci calls into meetings virtually and avoids going in person to the White House because 'of all the infections there'
Summary List Placement Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Washington Post he avoids going to the White...Summary List Placement Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Washington Post he avoids going to the White House because "of all the infections there." Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told the Post he has not talked to President Donald Trump since early October, despite spikes in daily new...