Some critics of President Donald Trump have accused him of ignoring or undermining the medical experts advising his administration in its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Some of my colleagues in the Senate seem to want to paint each of your relationships with our president during this wartime effort as confrontational and lacking consensus,” said Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA).
“Certainly not a confrontational relationship”
Loeffler went on to ask the witnesses if they could “say here to the American people today whether this is true or untrue,” prompting an unequivocal response from Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Testifying before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions remotely via video, the White House coronavirus task force leader said that his “is certainly not a confrontational relationship” with Trump.
“As I have mentioned many times, I give advice and opinion based on evidence-based scientific information,” Fauci added, according to Breitbart. “He hears that. He respects that.”
“It’s grounded in data and science”
The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said he wanted to “echo what Dr. Fauci said” when responding to the same question.
“We’re there to give our best public health advice,” Dr. Robert Redfield explained, according to Breitbart. “That’s what we do. It’s grounded in data and science.”
He added that he has “always felt free to give the best public health advice” he deems necessary, noting that those meetings have been handled “in a very professional way.”
Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said Trump has “listened respectfully” to experts speaking on the matter. “I have given him my honest answers rooted in data and science,” he said.
“A productive working relationship”
Finally, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Dr. Brett Giroir offered his opinion, as Breitbart noted. He described having “a productive working relationship” with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and other members of the coronavirus task force.
In late March, Fauci confirmed that he “argued strongly” against scaling back existing social distancing guidelines, noting that the president “did listen” to the evidence being presented, according to TIME magazine.
Though some in the Democratic Party or mainstream media might want to seize on this crisis to paint Trump as dismissive toward the experts in his inner circle, Fauci and others continue to make it clear that they have experienced no such reception.