18:41 GMT04 August 2020
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    In the course of government briefings, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has several times contradicted remarks made by US President Donald Trump on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, leading to reports from mainstream media that the two were involved in a rift.

    The White House denied reports that the country’s top disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has been sidelined by the Trump administration. Several news outlets recently claimed that the White House had prepared a list of comments made by Fauci about the coronavirus pandemic in the US as a means of detailing times when the expert was wrong about the novel infectious disease.

    White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany insisted that Fauci’s recommendations are reaching Trump and that the former remains a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

    "The point of the task force is to be a whole of government look at what is best for this country. Dr. Fauci is one member of a team, but rest assured, his viewpoint is represented and the information gets to the president through the task force”, McEnany said when asked to comment on relations between Trump and Fauci.

    Reports of a rift between the two appeared after Fauci stated in an interview with The Financial Times last week that a claim by the president, that 99 percent of coronavirus cases are harmless, was "obviously not the case". Trump also publicly disagreed with the expert’s observation that the United States is still "knee-deep" in the first wave of coronavirus. "Well, I think we are in good place. I disagree with him", Trump stated.

    Fauci has criticized the media for attempting to create distance between himself and the president. "I would wish that would stop, because we have a much bigger problem here than trying to point out differences. They’re really, fundamentally, at the core, when you look at things there are not differences", Fauci said.

    The United States has recently seen a dramatic surge in new cases after safety restrictions were lifted by several states. The US is now seeing a higher number of infections than when the outbreak started, as 66,000 new cases in one day were reported on 10 July. The United States claims the highest number of infections (almost 3.4 million) and the highest death toll from the disease, currently over 135,000 and rising.


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