Anthony Fauci advises US President Trump on the corona crisis. At a hearing in front of the Senate, he warned emphatically against taking action too quickly in the United States. Trump continues to insist on easing.
In the United States, the corona crisis shows a widening gap between President Donald Trump and his Corona chief adviser Anthony Fauci. While Trump continued to press for a quick relaxation of the pandemic restrictions, Fauci warned on Tuesday of the “really serious” consequences of taking action too quickly. At the same time, he was “cautiously optimistic” about the state of vaccine development.
“People want our country to be open,” Trump said in the White House on Monday. The United States has made “enormous progress” in expanding the tests, and the increase in new infections has slowed considerably. It is essential to reopen the country. Trump hopes to quickly get the US economy back on track by loosening restrictions quickly, increasing his chances in the November presidential election.
Fauci warns of quick action
However, Trump’s main corona advisor warned against taking action too quickly: at a hearing in the Senate in Washington on Tuesday, Fauci said guidelines had been developed as to when and how the restrictions could be relaxed. One of the most important prerequisites is that the number of new infections will drop significantly over two weeks. “If a municipality, state, or region doesn’t act according to the guidelines, the consequences could be really serious.”
The virologist was also “cautiously optimistic” about the prospects for a vaccine. Eight potential vaccines are currently being clinically tested. “We have multiple candidates and hope to have multiple winners,” said Fauci. “In other words, the target is shot from several directions.”
Fauci nevertheless emphasized that there was no upset between him and Trump. “There is certainly no confrontational relationship between me and the president,” Fauci said Tuesday at the video hearing. He advises Trump based on scientific information. The president listens to this, respects it and receives advice from other parties. Other experts from the White House Corona Working Group also said during the Senate hearing that there were no confrontations with Trump. The experts openly gave their assessments in the group and the President listened.
Fauci repeatedly contradicted Trump in public
In the past few weeks, members of the working group – above all Fauci – had seen several attempts to publicly contradict Trump on certain statements regarding the corona pandemic. Fauci had said weeks ago on the website of the scientific journal “Science” that Trump was listening to him – “even if we disagree on some things”. Trump has his own style. “But when it comes to content, he listens to what I say.”
Trump himself had explicitly publicly praised Fauci several times despite differences in content. He emphasized that he highly valued the experts in his coronavirus team and would continue to listen to their advice.
Corona Falls in the White House
Fauci is currently in self-inflicted quarantine because of contact with a corona-infected government official. The handling of corona cases in the White House has been controversial for several days. Trump has now announced that, as a protective measure, he may reduce his contacts with Vice President Mike Pence.
Two Corona cases had been confirmed in the White House within two days last week. Among other things, Pence spokeswoman Katie Miller was tested positive for the corona virus. The vice president himself was tested negative for the pathogen, said Trump.
However, the vice president “comes into contact with many people,” added the president. Therefore, he would talk to Pence about a possible restriction of their contacts. A mask requirement was imposed on White House employees on Monday, which Trump himself did not follow.
A Pence spokesman said on Sunday that the vice president had not quarantined. Trump’s remarks the day after, however, suggested that Pence might be isolated at home. He hadn’t seen Pence since the “quarantine period,” the president said.
With more than 80,000 deaths and 1.3 million infected, the United States is by far the most affected country by the pandemic. The real number is probably higher, Fauci admitted at the video hearing in the US Senate. One of the reasons for this is that many people, especially in particularly hard hit New York, died before they could be taken to the hospital.