- In recent interviews, White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci revealed that it has been weeks since he has spoken to President Trump.
- Dr. Fauci says the task force meets infrequently and yet Trump is no longer attending.
- Despite the silence from the rest of the task force, Dr. Fauci has continued to speak to the press.
Our priorities in the United States have shifted dramatically over the past week.
Following the killing of George Floyd by a police officer — who has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — protestors have been marching through the streets from coast to coast, demanding justice for Floyd and an end to police brutality. All the while, the novel coronavirus pandemic has taken a backseat, but even as several states are flattening the curve and mitigating the spread of the virus, it’s unclear what effect these mass gatherings will have on the infection rate in the days and weeks to come.
Whether or not the protests lead to a rise in the infection rate, there are still over 10,000 positive cases being reported every day in the United States, and yet the White House Coronavirus Task Force has seemingly dissolved. There was also a period where we didn’t hear from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director and task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci, but he has finally reemerged with some troubling news.
Speaking with Stat in a wide-ranging interview, Fauci revealed that his meetings with the president have “dramatically decreased” and that the task force meetings aren’t occurring nearly as often:
“We used to have task force meetings every single day, including Saturday and Sunday, and about 75% of the time after the task force meeting we’d meet with the president,” said Fauci. “So I was meeting with him four times a week back, a month or so ago. But as you probably noticed, the task force meetings have not occurred as often lately. And certainly my meetings with the president have been dramatically decreased.”
In a separate story from CNN, Fauci said that he hasn’t spoken with the president in two weeks. According to Fauci, Trump invited him to “provide medical context” during a teleconference with the governors on May 18th, and that was their last interaction as of Monday, June 1st. The last time the task force met was on May 28th, and the last time they held a White House press briefing to update the public on the virus was May 22nd.
While the task force may be sputtering or winding down, Fauci is still doing his best to offer guidance to the American public and optimism about our ability to make it through this pandemic without another massive spike. Just last week, Fauci said that the ominous second wave we’ve heard so much about is “not inevitable.” As long as people continue to be smart and we have the proper testing and tracing in place to track infections and squash them before they turn into outbreaks, we might be able to keep the curve flat until a vaccine is ready.