• The White House, as well as its health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, both shared competing coronavirus updates this week that seemed to be describing two entirely different pandemics.
  • A document was disseminated from the White House that touted the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying that it had actually been ended.
  • Dr. Fauci, of course, disagrees, and says that “the mother of all outbreaks” is “not even close to being finished.”

The competing coronavirus updates shared this week from the Trump White House as well as from White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci could not be more different from each other, almost as if the pandemics they describe refer to two very different crises instead of this single god-awful one that’s pounded the US throughout 2020.

Take the comments from Dr. Fauci, who also works as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which he shared on Monday during a discussion with the Yale Institute for Global Health. “Unfortunately, we’re right now in the middle of what’s going to be referred to, I think historically, as the mother of all outbreaks over the last hundred years. And we’re not even close to being finished with it yet.”

Contrast that with a White House press release issued the day after Fauci’s remarks which, believe it or not, listed “ending” the coronavirus pandemic as one of the Trump administration’s first-term accomplishments. Per Newsweek, the White House document touting the president’s results went on to claim the following: “From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Administration has taken decisive actions to engage scientists and health professionals in academia, industry, and government to understand, treat, and defeat the disease.”

This comes as this latest data from Johns Hopkins University shows the US has now recorded more than 8.9 million cases since the start of the pandemic, along with almost 229,000 deaths from the deadly pathogen. Indeed, the White House coronavirus task force is warning that the coronavirus pandemic is especially rampaging and on a tear right now through the western half of the US, with members of the task force wishing more aggressive measures could be taken in response to it.

For additional context regarding how bad things have gotten, the US hit an all-time high on Thursday in terms of the number of new COVID-19 cases reported in a single day (almost 90,000). That all but guarantees that on Friday the US will hit 9 million coronavirus cases in total having been recorded here since the start of the pandemic — and a mere 15 days after that total hit 8 million cases.

During an online event hosted by Chicago Ideas, here’s how Dr. Fauci responded when asked what he thinks about Trump calling Fauci a “disaster” and Trump’s claim that there’s too much attention being given to the pandemic:

“I have now, for the last 36 years, been the director of this institute and have dealt very closely with six separate presidents. And when I get involved as I do frequently in the country’s response to emerging infections, I focus like a laser beam on what I have to do, what my responsibility is … to safeguard the health, the safety and the welfare of the American public, and indirectly for the world because we are a leader in global health. So those other things that you mentioned, the name-calling and that, to me that’s just noise. It really is. I don’t bother with that. It doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t influence me.”

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.