Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force, has apparently not been in contact with the president in quite some time. In an interview with Stat News published on Monday, the infamous face-palmer was asked directly if he still met frequently with Trump, and the answer he gave was a resounding "no."
"We used to have task force meetings every single day, including Saturday and Sunday, and about 75 percent of the time after the task force meeting we'd meet with the president," Fauci explained. "So I was meeting with him four times a week back, a month or so ago. But as you probably noticed, that the task force meetings have not occurred as often lately. And certainly, my meetings with the president have been dramatically decreased."
For weeks, Trump was holding near-daily coronavirus briefings. While his candor wasn't questioned by viewers fairly regularly, Fauci became a figure people often looked to for clear, concise answers on the global pandemic. He became so relied-on that whenever he was absent from the meetings, it seemed glaringly obvious. Along with his lack of one-on-one time with the president, Fauci did speak on the fact that several states and cities had been lifting Stay at Home restrictions.
"I certainly have sensitivity for the need of the public to start getting to some form of normalization, given that we've been through more than three months of a very difficult time," Fauci said. "But it's a big country and the dynamics of the outbreak are different from one part of the country to another. If people want to get out, they've really got to gauge it with the level of the outbreak in their particular area."
Back in March, Fauci gave a handful of interviews to address some specific concerns about coronavirus, and carefully selected the outlets to have the maximum impact. This strategy included speaking with The Daily Show, which was an effort to reach more younger viewers who may have been less concerned with the potentially fatal virus. Speaking remotely with host Trevor Noah, Fauci explained that people of all ages can contract the coronavirus, which is responsible for the respiratory illness COVID-19, and that the youth are "not absolutely invulnerable."
According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 1.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with just over 105,000 deaths as of Monday. There have been more than 375,000 deaths worldwide.