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Trump and Fauci not speaking as coronavirus pandemic worsens

July 10, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

US President Donald Trump listens as National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at the White House on March 21, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

For months, amid the worst pandemic in a century, President Donald Trump insisted all was well between him and the nation's top infectious disease specialist.

"Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he's made a lot of mistakes," Trump said this week, undermining the public health expert Americans say in polls they trust more than the President.

Trump retweeted a conservative activist who used the hashtag #FireFauci in complaining about the doctor, though the White House insisted afterward that Trump had no plans to dismiss him and that "Fauci has been and remains a trusted advisor to President Trump. "

But a month later, as states began reopening -- often without meeting the parameters conceived by Fauci and other members of the task force and issued by the White House -- Trump began scaling up his public rebukes.

By early June, Trump and Fauci had largely stopped in-person engagements.

Fauci -- who has advised every president since Ronald Reagan -- told the Financial Times this week that he last saw Trump on June 2 at the White House, and hasn't personally briefed him in at least two months.

I disagree with him," Trump said in an interview Tuesday when questioned about Fauci's assertion the US is still "knee-deep in the first wave" of the pandemic.

Trump's criticisms of Fauci don't hold up entirely; the decision to advise against wearing masks was due largely to a nationwide shortage of them, and Fauci publicly backed the ban on travel from China when it was announced.

Still, Trump's criticism reflects his conviction that the health experts who he assembled early in the pandemic have steered him wrong, a view that's been fanned by some in the conservative media who have accused Fauci and others in the administration as imposing draconian lockdown measures despite being unelected officials.

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