Where's Anthony Fauci, ask Americans as 'truth-teller' in coronavirus task force skips Trump's briefing again
The respected veteran immunologist corrected the president over his words and actions while dealing with the deadly virus outbreak a number of times. Has he paid a price for that?
The American media was left curious on Monday, March 23, after coronavirus expert Dr Anthony Fauci was conspicuous by his absence at the White House daily briefing on the pandemic for the second consecutive day. The COVID-19 outbreak has claimed over 16,500 lives the world over and affected over 381,000 people. In the US, over 46,000 people have been hit while the death toll has crossed 580.
The coronavirus expert recently said in an interview to Science that he has to put across the facts several times to make President Donald Trump understand them. Fauci has not been seen accompanying the president at the press conference since the interview was published on Sunday, March 22.
The absence of the 79-year-old, who conceded during the interview that he was “exhausted”, but added jokingly that he “wasn’t fired”, also made many Americans curious. They took to Twitter to ask where the expert was gone.
“Where the holy hell is the one person we all trust? Where is Dr Fauci?” one asked, seeking whereabouts of the 'truth-teller'.
“Where is Dr. Fauci. I want facts! I don’t like when there is no fauci!” said another.
Media personalities were also worried over Fauci’s sudden disappearance. NBC anchor Maria Shriver said in a tweet that she was missing the specialist since he made him feel reassured and safe. “Where is he? I need him!” she said.
In the interview, Fauci was asked how he managed to not get fired. To that, he credited Trump saying even if they disagreed on things, the president listens to him.
“He goes his own way. He has his own style. But on substantive issues, he does listen to what I say,” Fauci added.
On Monday, when the president was asked about Fauci’s whereabouts, who Science called “the scientific voice of reason about how to respond to the new coronavirus”, he said: “He's a good man. I like Dr Fauci a lot, just so you understand. He is not here because we are discussing what he is best at but he will be back very soon.”
Fauci said he was going to keep pushing
Answering a question over his working with a commander-in-chief who cares little about conventional ways, Fauci said when one is dealing with the White House, sometimes you have to say things one, two, three, four times and then it materializes. “So, I’m going to keep pushing,” the man, who is a member of Trump’s coronavirus task force, said.
Fauci also said he tries to rectify Trump but can’t jump in front of the microphone and push him down. The veteran, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has criticized Trump in the past for publicly shaking hands with people.
“I say that to the task force. I say that to the staff. We should not be doing that. Not only that - we should be physically separating a bit more on those press conferences,” the immunologist said.
Trump recently was seen shaking hands with retired US general Jack Keane after awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House on March 10. Even last Friday, March 20, Fauci was seen smirking at Trump during a coronavirus press conference to fuel the rumors of him having a tense relation with the president.
A day before, Trump claimed the anti-malaria drug hydrochloroquine could be a “game changer” in the fight against the deadly coronavirus. Fauci later said that there was “no magic drug”.
On March 13, Trump said he needed no COVID-19 test despite coming into contact with an infected Brazilian official who accompanied the visiting president of Brazil. Fauci then felt that the president ideally needed to undergo the test.
Even before that, Trump told the pharmaceutical executives that he hoped a vaccine for coronavirus would be out in “three to four months”. The expert in Fauci said a vaccine, which is made and put into test inside a year is not a “deployable” one.
Even Fauci refused to call the COVID-19 disease virus “Chinese Virus” as the president has been doing repeatedly and has been accused as “racist”.
While one tweeted on Sunday that Fauci was being punished for “disagreeing that blow driers aren’t a cure for COVID-19”, it was just a day earlier that the reputed specialist admitted in an interview with the New York Times that he has been “walking a fine line” by publicly contradicting the president.