In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen more than 40,000 test positive, President Donald Trump has continued to speak to the country with daily briefings. Among those who usually stand in the background of his press conferences is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the federal coronavirus response team.
Fauci found himself going viral during the president's briefing on March 20. That was when the 79-year-old was seen doing a facepalm as Trump referred to the State Department as "the Deep State Department." On Monday, though, the director was not seen in attendance. His absence caused social media to go into a stir as they sought to find an answer to why he was not there.
Prior to this, Fauci had expressed his desire to move to the daily briefings to a virtual conference.
BREAKING: Dr. Fauci has repeatedly requested the daily WH press briefings be virtual, not in person: "I keep saying, is there any way we can get a virtual press conference?" Dr. Fauci says of his attempts to make them virtual: "I'm trying my best. I cannot do the impossible."— Scott Dworkin (@funder) March 23, 2020
It's unclear if Fauci's absense was in part due to that or for another reason. Either way, social media expressed its frustration with him not being present.
Lack of Accountability
With Fauci not being present, many felt it was a sign of Trump not wanting him to be there. Fauci has countered Trump multiple times during the pandemic. Social media has appreciated him for presenting facts during his messages.
By the fact that Dr Fauci or and CDC personnel are involved in this discussion means that there is nothing said that is trustworthy. No point watching😫. https://t.co/hv0OtTN9rI— Tess E. Rana (@Tess_e_rana) March 24, 2020
Fauci has gone on the record to say that the White House hasn't exactly taken what he's said and put it to use.
"It is expressed in a way that I would not express it, because it could lead to some misunderstanding about what the facts are about a given subject," he said in an interview with ScienceMag.
I've watched it every day and today I just couldn't watch. I just want Dr. Fauci to come on news stations without Trump and tell us what to do, without all Trump's BS.— Holly Hopkins (@HollyWHopkins) March 24, 2020
Was He Barred?
Being so outspoken and openly countering Trump's words, some on social media are wondering if he was barred from the briefings. As of this posting, no reason was given as to why he was not present.
I have to believe trump wants us all to die. He has barred the only person from the CDC with the balls to say what is really happening, Dr. Fauci, from talking about Covid-19.— Carlabelle (@carlabelle73) March 24, 2020
Was He Fired?
Some are thinking the extreme and wondering if Fauci was actually fired by Trump. Earlier, Fauci spoke with ScienceMag.com and was asked how he's managed to not be let loose by the president yet. He said that even though they have differing viewpoints, Trump "does listen" to him when it comes to substantive issues.
If he fired Fauci we are all going to die, won't be any medical supplies hospitals closings medical jobs disappear oh no, I some🥃 🥃🥃🥃🥃— ✊2the Hill (@2the_hill) March 24, 2020
His Own Briefings
Having become a popular figure during the coronavirus pandemic, many would like to see Fauci give his own briefings. Due to his and Trump's differing views, people across Twitter would support seeing Fauci have his own uninterrupted time and vice versa.
Fauci should begin doing daily video briefings on his own. Let Trump fire him if he dares. https://t.co/72bLeWOpqR— David Frum (@davidfrum) March 24, 2020
Tomorrow Will Tell
With him not being there and no excuse provided, a lot of eyes will be focusing on Trump's briefing on Tuesday. If Fauci isn't there once again, those who suspected he may have been barred or even fired will have more substance to their thoughts.
Oh no. I hope he is back tomorrow!! We need Fauci!— Danielle Longo (@dlongoPharmD) March 24, 2020