Pelosi praises Fauci as a 'truth-teller,' says he's crucial to coronavirus fight

Pelosi praises Fauci as a 'truth-teller,' says he's crucial to coronavirus fight
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Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems look to repackage BBB into salvageable bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden clarifies his remarks on Russia Democrats hope to salvage Biden's agenda on Manchin's terms  MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday came to the defense of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying he is crucial to ending the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

"Dr. Fauci is a truth-teller. He's science, knowledge, evidence, data, and that's what we have to have if we're going to have a cure and not just 'I heard this works,'" Pelosi told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.

Fauci, an integral part of President TrumpDonald TrumpJudge rules Alaska governor unlawfully fired lawyer who criticized Trump Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE's coronavirus task force, has served presidents from both parties since former President Reagan and has largely been seen as a guiding presence through the pandemic. 

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However, his absence from Trump's daily briefing on Monday raised eyebrows and prompted media pundits to question whether the leading virologist had begun to fall out of favor with the president.

When asked why Fauci wasn't present, Trump answered, "He's a good man. I like Dr. Fauci a lot. He'll be back up soon."

Fauci has walked back a number of Trump's statements about the virus and potential medication to treat it. He has said multiple times that a vaccine for COVID-19 will take at least a year to develop and the miracle drugs that the president has spoken of weren't tested to fight coronavirus in a proper clinical trial.

Despite that, the doctor has also pushed back on rhetoric that he and Trump have become increasingly at odds.

"The president has listened to what I have said and what the other people on the task force have said. When I have made recommendations he has taken them," Fauci told the Morning on The Mall Podcast Tuesday morning. "The idea of just pitting one against the other is just not helpful."