Fauci and Birx advised Trump against holding Tulsa rally: report

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciCOVID-19 is a precursor for infectious disease outbreaks on a warming planet Sunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration Fauci: Approval of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines likely 'weeks away' MORE and Deborah Birx, two of the most prominent members of the White House coronavirus task force, advised Trump against holding an in-person rally in Tulsa, Okla., this weekend, sources told NBC News.

Both Fauci and Birx have voiced concerns about hosting the rally, which is set to congregate at least 19,000 people in Tulsa’s BOK Center. The event goes against guidelines in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the White House.

On Friday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court denied a legal request to require that social distancing be enforced at the rally.


The Trump campaign said that attendees will be given temperature checks, masks and hand sanitizer before entering the arena. However, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday that wearing masks at the event would be a “personal choice."

According to NBC, Fauci and Birx have expressed a desire to continue making appearances at White House press briefings, which was a regular occurrence at one point during the pandemic.

But sources told NBC that Trump is “annoyed” at the comments Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has made during media interviews.

In an interview with the Daily Beast this week, Fauci said that if he had the opportunity, he would not attend the rally. 

Fauci told The Washington Post in a story published Friday that he has not met with President TrumpDonald TrumpGiuliani used provisional ballot to vote in 2020 election, same method he disparaged in fighting to overturn results Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Fox News' DC managing editor Bill Sammon to retire MORE as of late, but has met with Vice President Pence, who leads the task force, “then it goes up to the next level.”

Trump has publicly expressed his frustration with Fauci at times, tweeting Friday that “Tony Fauci has nothing to do with NFL Football,” after Fauci told CNN on Thursday that it would be "very hard" for the NFL to have a season safely without having players in a "bubble," which the league currently does not have plans for.