President Donald Trump reportedly isn't interested in tackling the novel coronavirus in the U.S., even as the virus continues to surge in parts of the country. According to one White House adviser who spoke to The Washington Post, Trump is "not really working this anymore. He doesn't want to be distracted by it. He's not calling and asking about data. He's not worried about cases."
This echoes many of Trump's recent public speeches, during which he spends only a small amount of time, if any, talking about COVID-19.
Behind closed doors, advisers say the president is spending less of his time trying to manage the situation, largely leaving it up to states and localities to address the issue.
The White House has also been accused of attempting to sow public distrust of its own health experts. Rumors suggest that Trump sought to sideline respected health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci after he contradicted the president on the coronavirus.
Fauci himself has said that he was not allowed by the White House to make public appearances because he refused to sugarcoat the situation, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
This conflict, the Washington Post argues, may be hampering efforts across the country to slow the spread of the deadly disease. Thomas Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control, says that officials should be fighting the virus, not each other.
"The virus doesn't read talking points," he said. "The virus doesn't watch news shows. The virus just waits for us to make mistakes. And when we make mistakes, as Texas and Florida and South Carolina and Arizona did, the virus wins. When we ignore science, the virus wins."
Other experts say that they worry that the status of the U.S. as a leader of world health has been harmed. Ninety U.S. health organizations sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the coronavirus task force in the White House, objecting to the apparent attempts to sow mistrust of public health experts and science.
The White House has pushed back on the report that Trump wasn't focused on the issue. White House spokesperson Sarah Matthews said that Trump acts on the recommendations of his health experts.
"Any suggestion that the President is not working around the clock to protect the health and safety of all Americans, lead the whole-of-government response to this pandemic, including expediting vaccine development and rebuilding our economy is utterly false," she said.