Trump breaks with Fauci: US in ‘good place’ in fight against virus
President Trump broke with top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci on Tuesday by saying the U.S. is in a “good place” in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Greta Van Susteren of “Full Court Press” questioned the president on how to “reconcile” Fauci’s recent warnings about the U.S.’s handling of the coronavirus with other “encouraging news” such as the “possibilities of a vaccine coming out.”
“Well, I think we are in a good place,” Trump said. “I disagree with him. Dr. Fauci said don’t wear masks, and now he says wear them.”
The president added that Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said “numerous things,” including not to ban travel from China, which Trump announced at the end of January.
“I didn’t listen to my experts, and I banned China,” he said. “We would have been in much worse shape.”
“So we’ve done a good job,” he added. “In two, three, four weeks, by the time we next speak, I think we’re going to be in very good shape.”
Trump acknowledged the rise in cases in states such as California and Florida but said “many other states are in very fine shape.”
The president’s comments contrast with what Fauci has warned in recent weeks, including on Monday, when he said the state of the pandemic in the U.S. is “really not good” and that the country needs to take action to stop the surge in cases.
On Monday, the NIAID director pointed to some states and localities reopening too quickly, saying it has led to “record-breaking cases.” Fauci also said the U.S. did not decrease the number of cases enough before the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.
“We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this,” he said during an online chat hosted by the National Institutes of Health.
The number of new coronavirus cases confirmed each day in the U.S. has been steadily rising, reaching about 50,000 per day. The country recorded its largest daily increase last Friday, with 56,567 new cases, according to The New York Times.
States such as Arizona, California, Florida and Texas are currently experiencing spikes in new coronavirus cases.
In his remarks, the president referenced when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended against wearing masks earlier in the pandemic. But the CDC later reversed its decision, saying people should wear masks in public spaces.