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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 FauciVaccine skepticism emerges as early test for Biden Trump encourages Americans to 'gather' in Thanksgiving proclamation despite coronavirus surge Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year 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 ToddRichmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' GOP senator calls for cooperation on Biden transition: 'I'd rather have a president that has more than one day to prepare' Hogan calls Giuliani press conference a 'train wreck' 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 John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation 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.