Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, claimed on Tuesday morning that he and President Donald Trump are on the same page with regards to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Fauci told Mary Walter and Vince Coglianese, the co-hosts of WMAL’s “Morning on the Mall” radio program, that the media’s reports of his clashes with Trump were “really unfortunate.”
“I would wish that that would stop because we have a much bigger problem here than trying to point out differences,” he said.
The doctor insisted there “fundamentally” weren’t any disparities between his approach to the coronavirus and that of Trump.
“The President has listened to what I have said and what other people on the task force have said,” Fauci told Walter and Coglianese. “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,” he added.
Yet Fauci admitted in a Science Magazine interview as recently as this Sunday that it was challenging for him to juggle his role in the task force while contending with Trump’s mistruths and exaggerations during the daily press conferences.
“I can’t jump in front of the microphone and push him down,” Fauci said.
But there was one close example of him doing so on Saturday when he confirmed to a CNN reporter that there was a medical supply shortage–even though Trump had denied it several minutes earlier.
Fauci has also been privately trying to steer Trump away from his inclination toward lifting the White House’s social distancing recommendations to boost the economy, according to the Washington Post.
And now the New York Times is reporting that Fauci is on thin ice with Trump, who is becoming irritated with the doctor for not falling in line with Trump’s efforts to downplay the coronavirus.
Listen to Fauci below (his comments begin at around the 6:10 timestamp):