Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci is back at the center of the conversation after a several weeks-long lull in June.
As COVID-19 cases rise in several US hotspots, Fauci has urged caution and even rollbacks of reopening plans for some states. President Trump just revealed during a recent interview with Barstool Sports’ President Dave Portnoy that Fauci would keep the country “closed up” for a “couple of years,” if he could have his way.
Abundance of caution
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Dr. Fauci has urged President Trump to take extreme caution in regard to controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus.
As the top expert on the White House coronavirus task force, Fauci is responsible for counseling Trump to recommend extreme shutdowns and stay-at-home orders that have devastated the US economy.
Even with months of unprecedented lockdowns, cases have begun to increase in hotspots like Florida, California, and Arizona. California’s Democrat governor Gavin Newsom, who proudly touted the state’s relatively low infection rate for months, was forced to retreat on reopening plans as the virus began making its way through the state’s population.
After the failures and disadvantages of months of lockdowns began to become apparent, Fauci was targeted as the architect of the lockdowns. Though Trump and Fauci have maintained a cordial public front, cracks have begun to show in the facade in recent weeks.
President Trump told Portnoy that Faui is “actually a very nice guy,” continuing to explain that “we don’t always agree on everything, he would like to do things that I don’t like to do, but ultimately I make the decisions.”
“But we make it all, a group of people, and he’s been here for like 45 years, many many years, and he’s a nice man actually,” said Trump.
Portnoy explained to Trump that he recently switched to day trading and that Fauci is now on his “X list” because “every time he talks, he says the country should stay inside, and my stocks tank.”
Trump responded that he routinely has to “overrule” Fauci because Fauci would like to “shut down” the nation for an indeterminate amount of time to stop the spread of the virus.
“He’d like to see it closed up for a couple of years, but that’s okay, because I’m president,” said President Trump. “So I say, ‘Well, I appreciate your opinion, now give me another opinion, somebody, please.'”
Fauci, for his part, has taken swipes at President Trump as well, though he did offer praise for Trump’s renewed daily coronavirus briefings.
“The president has gone out there, and is saying things now that I think are important, has to do with wearing masks, crowded — staying away from the crowded places. So I think that they have been helpful now,” Fauci told the Washington Post on Friday.