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Fauci: Media should stop 'pitting' me against Trump

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci on latest surge: 'No matter how you look at it, it's not good news' Trump federal salary adviser resigns over order stripping worker protections White House to host swearing-in event for Barrett on Monday night MORE said Tuesday that he wishes the media would stop "pitting" his advice about the coronavirus against that of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE, encouraging people to "look ahead at the challenge we have together."

During an interview with Fauci — a leader on the White House coronavirus task force — the host of the Morning on The Mall Podcast, Vince Coglianese, asked if the doctor thinks the media is attempting to emphasize differences of opinions between himself and Trump. 

"That is really unfortunate. I would wish that would stop because we have a much bigger problem here than trying to point out differences," Fauci said. "There really fundamentally at the core ... are not differences."

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Fauci said that Trump does listen to his expertise and the opinions of other officials on the task force. 

"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 added. "The idea of just pitting one against the other is just not helpful."

Previously, Science magazine had published an interview in which Fauci admitted some of Trump's remarks on the coronavirus pandemic were not true, leading some to suggest that disagreement among White House officials could be holding back the progress of the federal coronavirus response. 

But Trump praised the director during Monday's White House briefing.

"He's a good man. I like Dr. Fauci a lot," Trump told reporters when asked why Fauci was not at Monday's briefing. "He'll be back up soon."

Trump has promoted advice from experts on the task force such as Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus task force coordinator who was in attendance during Monday's briefing.

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However, the president suggested that he and Fauci do not agree on every point.

"If it was up to the doctors, they might say shut down the entire world," Trump said.

Trump suggested there may be some disagreement when asked if Fauci was on board with his belief that the economy needs to be reopened sooner rather than later.

"He doesn't not agree," Trump said. "He understands there's a tremendous cost to our country both in terms of lives and in terms of economics. ... He fully understands that."