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US testing official: 'Dr. Fauci is not 100 percent right'

The U.S.'s top coronavirus testing official, Adm. Brett Giroir, said Sunday that infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciUK study: Pfizer, AstraZeneca vaccines offer protection against Delta variant The tale of the last bipartisan unicorns Delta variant's UK dominance sparks concerns in US MORE is “not 100 percent right” because he looks at the coronavirus pandemic from “a very narrow public health point of view.”

Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddOvernight Health Care: US to donate 500 million Pfizer doses to other countries: reports | GOP's attacks on Fauci at center of pandemic message | Federal appeals court blocks Missouri abortion ban Fauci on Blackburn video: 'No idea what she is talking about' Fauci: Attacks on me are really also 'attacks on science' MORE of NBC's “Meet the Press” asked the White House testing czar about a Washington Post report that cited an official saying Fauci has argued for parts of the country with surges to shut down without buy-in from the rest of the White House task force. 

“I respect Dr. Fauci a lot, but Dr. Fauci is not 100 percent right, and he also doesn't necessarily — he admits that — have the whole national interest in mind,” Giroir said. “He looks at it from a very narrow public health point of view.”

Giroir defended the White House task force, saying it has “complete, open, honest discussion” and meets three to four times a week. He said he feels “absolutely free saying anything” to Vice President Pence, who heads the task force.

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“Believe me, if there's a public health opinion that needs to be said, that needs to be it,” he said. 

“So nobody feels like anything is held back,” he added. “We all take this as a serious crisis. It's got to be science driving the policy. And that's the way it is.”

Giroir told Todd that he doesn't "think we need to shut down" again, "at least in most places around the country," but he requested that U.S. residents "avoid bars" and "wear a mask in public." 

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been cautioning the U.S. in recent weeks as coronavirus cases continue to rise in certain areas of the country. Last week, the public health expert called on states experiencing surges to pause their reopening processes. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE also broke with Fauci last week, saying the U.S. is in a “good place” with the pandemic, while Fauci has said the state of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S. is “really not good.”

Fauci also disputed the president's claim that 99 percent of COVID-19 cases are "harmless," saying it is "obviously not" true.