White House coronavirus task force member Admiral Brett Giroir said fellow task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci “doesn’t necessarily … have the whole national interest in mind” when dispensing advice on how to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Giroir, the assistant secretary for health and White House coronavirus testing czar, appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday to discuss the ongoing coronavirus response with anchor Chuck Todd.
“Dr. Fauci has argued that parts of the country experiencing surges should shut down, ‘but there is no buy-in for that,’ said an official with direct knowledge of the conversation who spoke on the condition of anonymity,” Todd said, quoting the Post. “Are there some ideas that you can’t propose because the president will never accept them?”
“I want to just put this to rest,” Giroir responded. “There is a complete, open, honest discussion within the task force. The task force meets three or four times a week. The vice president calls me regularly. Dr. Birx is not one to hold her tongue. Believe me, if there is a public health opinion that needs to be said that needs to be it.”
“And I respect Dr. Fauci a lot, but Dr. Fauci is not 100% right, and he also doesn’t necessarily — and he admits that — have the whole national interest in mind,” he continued. “He looks at it from a very narrow public health point of view, but let me just say there is absolutely open discourse. I feel absolutely free saying anything to the vice president within those rooms. The vice president I know briefs the president on a daily basis. So nobody feels like anything is held back.”
Fauci reportedly “no longer briefs Trump” and hasn’t spoken to the president since the first week of June. The Washington Post cited a senior administration official as saying that anyone who disagrees with Trump’s opinion that the U.S. should “reopen and move on” is out of favor with the president.