Some of the most prominent public health officials in the federal government haven’t spoken to President Donald Trump in weeks.
That’s according to their testimony Tuesday to the House Energy & Commerce Committee, during a hearing on the government’s COVID-19 response.
It’s been “about two-and-a-half weeks” since Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, spoke to Trump, the doctor told Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA).
Brett Giroir, the assistant health secretary who has served as the government’s point person for COVID-testing, said the same thing: “About two-and-a-half weeks ago, as well, maybe three weeks ago.”
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn told Barragán it had been “some time” since he’d spoken to Trump about the pandemic response — “the last couple of weeks,” he ball-parked. It was less than a month ago, though, he said when Barragán asked.
One witness before the committee, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert R. Redfield, refused to answer the question, saying simply that “I continue to talk with the [White House Coronavirus] Task Force whenever the Task Force meets.”
“I think the fact that you won’t tell this committee the last time you spoke to him, whether it’s day or months ago, is a real concern,” Barragán responded.