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Zuckerberg to interview Fauci on coronavirus pandemic

Zuckerberg to interview Fauci on coronavirus pandemic
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Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergFacebook-backed cryptocurrency Libra changes names Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff Democrats press Facebook, Twitter on misinformation efforts ahead of Georgia runoff MORE will interview Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci says US could have herd immunity by end of summer 2021 Let the littlest state lead us on COVID-19 Atlas departure from White House cheered by public health officials MORE, the government's top infectious diseases expert, on Thursday.

The discussion, which will take place on Zuckerberg's Facebook page, will focus on the U.S.'s response to the coronavirus pandemic and what steps need to be taken to contain it.

"I'm grateful for Dr. Fauci's leadership and looking forward to hearing from him," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post announcing the interview.

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The discussion comes amid rising tensions between Fauci and the Trump administration, which has sought to discredit the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

It also gives Zuckerberg an opportunity to share updates on Facebook's efforts to limit misinformation about the pandemic on its platform.

Conspiracy theories and unfounded claims about the coronavirus, its origins and ways to combat it have surged on social media in step with the disease itself, causing what WHO has branded an “infodemic.”

Facebook has taken several steps to combat the spread of that disinformation, elevating information from trusted sources and limiting the spread of potentially harmful posts.

The social media giant also began notifying users who have interacted with misinformation about the coronavirus and connecting them with debunkings of common misinformation.

The administration has largely failed to contain the pandemic, actively pushing for businesses to reopen and sending mixed messages on public health measures as simple as wearing a mask in public. 

Most states are seeing increases in case numbers and positive test rates, with Arizona, Florida and California setting records in recent days. More than 136,000 people in America have died of the virus to date.