Mark Zuckerberg recently slams Donald Trump's coronavirus response, during a video chat with Dr. Anthony Fauci. On Thursday, the Facebook founder sat down for a livestream chat with the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Over the course of the hour-long conversation, the two discussed a number of issues, with Zuckerberg eventually expressing his criticism of how the Trump administration has handled things.
"You might be quite generous in your description of the government’s response here. I was certainly sympathetic early on when it was clear that there would be some outbreaks, no matter how well we handle this," Zuckerberg said to Fauci. "Now that we are here in July, I just think that it was avoidable and it is really disappointing that we still don’t have adequate testing, that the credibility of top scientists like yourself and the CDC are being undermined. Until recently, parts of the administration were calling into question whether people should follow basic best practices like wearing masks."
HAPPENING NOW: Mark Zuckerberg speaks with Dr. Fauci on the U.S. response to COVID-19. https://t.co/howbgV8Qbo— ABC News (@ABC) July 16, 2020
For his part, Fauci did not explicitly criticize Trump or his administration, but he expressed that he does not agree with the notion that not reopening the country would have had a detrimental impact on the economy. "We should be looking at public health measures as a vehicle, or a gateway, to opening the country, not as the obstacle in the way, but as the gateway," Fauci said. He also acknowledged how dangerous it is that there is a growing number of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. Southern states, specifically calling out states who did not follow the suggested reopening guidelines.
"You have got to do it correctly," Fauci said. "You can’t jump over steps, which is very perilous when you think about rebound. The proof of the pudding is, look what has happened. There really is no reason that we are having 40, 50, 60 thousand, other than we are not doing something correctly." Fauci also addressed the claims that many have made regarding the safety of wearing a mask or face covering in public. "There has not been any indication that putting a mask on, and wearing a mask for a considerable period of time, has any deleterious effects on oxygen exchange and things like that," he stated. Finally, Fauci also commented on the chances of a coronavirus vaccine, saying that "we should know, as we get to mid to late fall, whether we have [vaccine] candidates that are safe and effective."