President Trump Hasn't Attended Coronavirus Task Force Meeting in Months, Dr. Fauci Says

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Donald Trump has not been to a coronavirus task force meeting in months, per The Hill. Fauci, one of the nation's leading experts in infectious diseases, said during an appearance on Meet the Press Daily on Friday that he has not spoken to or directly interacted with Trump for some time. This news comes amidst strife between Trump and Fauci stemming from a Trump campaign ad that falsely advertised that the doctor was praising the president for his response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Fauci was actually praising the coronavirus task force and public health officials for their response to the health crisis.)

While on Meet the Press Daily, Fauci admitted that he does not have as much contact with the president as Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist and a fellow at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank. "I definitely don't have his ear as much as Scott Atlas right now, that has been a changing situation," Fauci said. The doctor continued to say that he has been meeting virtually with the heads of federal health agencies and task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx. He also said that during the spring, the coronavirus task force met daily. However, once the White House shifted to the economics of reopening the country, those meetings have since been held about once a week. According to Fauci, his interactions have now been mostly with Vice President Mike Pence.

"We certainly interact with the vice president at the task force meetings, and the vice president makes our feelings known to the president, but direct involvement with the president and discussions, I have not done that in a while," Fauci explained. Elsewhere during his interview, the doctor noted that the U.S. could be in a "precarious" position leading into the winter as coronavirus cases continue to spike in many parts of the country. He said, "We don't want to shut the country down. Every time I talk about things that we need to do, people get concerned. We're not talking about shutting down, but we're talking about doubling down on some of the fundamental public health measures that we need to adhere to."

Fauci said that some of those public health measures include wearing masks, physical distancing, and avoiding large crowds and indoor dining. "They seem rather simple, but they really do work," he added. "There is a golden mean in there where you can do public health things that you know work, that can blunt these increases that we're seeing."