Dr. Anthony Fauci, the highly respected infectious disease expert, did not attend Monday’s briefing – and his absence did not go unnoticed.
His whereabouts have become a point of interest since Fauci gave a remarkably candid interview to Science magazine, published Sunday evening, in which he admitted being at odds with Trump over several issues. And because Fauci has, for many Americans, provided a reassuring, rational voice as the coronavirus pandemic upended their lives.
“Even though we disagree on some things, he listens. He goes his own way. He has his own style,” Fauci said in the Science magazine interview.
Perhaps the most notable example: While President Donald Trump has seemed to hype potential treatments for COVID-19, Fauci has tamped down expectations with direct, plain English explanations.
But Fauci has also been uncomfortable with Trump’s repeated references to the disease as the “Chinese virus,” which critics have said is an xenophobic effort to blame foreign forces for the pandemic.