Fauci supports nationwide mask mandate, says he's not spoken to Trump ‘in a while’: ‘I don't have his ear’
The 79-year-old physician also said that the POTUS has been ditching White House Coronavirus Task Force meetings for months
Dr Anthony Fauci appeared for an interview with MSNBC's Chuck Todd on Friday, October 23, where he revealed that President Donald Trump has been ditching White House Coronavirus Task Force meetings for months, although the country is still struggling hard with the Covid-19, with positive cases surging to over 8,000,000 and 223,995 deaths. In addition, the 79-year-old physician also claimed that he has not been in contact with the POTUS “in a while” as he “definitely don't have his ear”.
During the news show, Fauci told Todd that Trump was more closer to fellow task force advisor, Dr. Scott Atlas, than him. Atlas was added to the task force in August and his beliefs regarding the pandemic are quite similar to the president’s. He has also been referred to as “anti-Fauci” reportedly because of their difference in opinions. “I definitely don't have his ear as much as Scott Atlas right now,” Fauci said as reported by The Daily Mail. He also added that the task force meetings are not happening frequently like in the earlier outbreak days. Fauci shared: “They [the meetings] are certainly less than they used to be... We're averaging about one a week. In early spring we were meeting five, six, sometimes seven days a week. A few months ago, when things pivoted around to more of the economic reopening of the country, the number of task force meetings diminished.”
But Fauci continued to say that he was still in contact with other task force doctors, including Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Robert Redfield, and they talk to each other once a week via video chat. He stated that Vice President Mike Pence, who heads up the task force, remains in touch. “We certainly interact with the vice president at the task force meetings and he makes our feelings and what we talk about known to the president,” the immunologist added.
Hours later, Fauci appeared on CNN while supporting a country-wide mask mandate. This was the first time when he expressed his support for the federal mask directive. “There's going to be a difficulty enforcing it, but if everyone agrees that this is something that's important and they mandate it and everybody pulls together and says, you know, we're going to mandate it but let's just do it, I think that would be a great idea to have everybody do it uniformly," he noted. He also said that with masks, people also need to strictly follow precautionary measures as winter is coming. “They sound very simple. But we're not uniformly doing that and that's one of the reasons we're seeing these surges," Fauci added.
Fauci’s comments came after Trump on Tuesday, October 21, condemned him during a sit-down interview with Eric Bolling for America This Week. “I get along with him fine, but he's made mistakes. He said 'No masks, don't wear a mask' and then he said 'Wear a mask'. He didn't want me to stop people coming in from China, but then he admitted it was a great move I made. I overrode him. Having said all of that, I get along with him. I like him,” the Republican leader said. When Bolling told him, “You called him a disaster!” Trump responded: “He's made bad moves, but he's been there a long time.”