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Fauci says reputation for 'speaking the truth' may be why he's on TV less

Fauci says reputation for 'speaking the truth' may be why he's on TV less
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Top infectious disease doctor Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Biden unveils COVID-19 relief plan | Post-holiday surge hits new deadly records | Senate report faults 'broken' system for insulin price hikes Should there be a 'Secretary of Thought'? Post-holiday COVID-19 surge hits new deadly records MORE, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, said he thinks his reputation for speaking bluntly may be why he hasn't been on television as much recently.

In an interview with the Financial Times published Friday, Fauci acknowledged that he won't water down the truth and indicated that may be why his public appearances on behalf of the administration have decreased at a time when the president has sounded an optimistic tone about the crisis.

“I have a reputation, as you probably have figured out, of speaking the truth at all times and not sugar-coating things. And that may be one of the reasons why I haven’t been on television very much lately,” said Fauci, who serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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Fauci and other members of the White House coronavirus task force have been making increasingly rare appearances on major network television. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said he has been on only six programs since June 1.

Fauci and some other administration scientists have warned of the danger of worsening outbreaks of COVID-19 around the country, which are leading to spikes in hospitalizations in hard-hit states.  

Meanwhile, President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE and other White House political officials argue that the U.S. is winning the battle against the coronavirus, despite evidence to the contrary.

Trump has publicly broken with Fauci on several occasions, including insisting earlier this week that the U.S. is in a "good place" with the pandemic after Fauci warned that the state of the pandemic in the country is "really not good." 

During political rallies and other speeches, the president consistently downplays the extent of the pandemic, and how widespread the new surge of cases is across many states.

"The reason we show so many Cases, compared to other countries that haven't done nearly as well as we have, is that our TESTING is much bigger and better," Trump tweeted on Thursday.

Fauci told the Financial Times that he hasn't seen the president in person since early June.