Dr. Anthony Fauci said the White House has been controlling his appearances in front of the media, confirming what many have been speculating for weeks.
While speaking with Jonathan LaPook on CBS News’ 60 Minutes, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases weighed in on the current administration’s handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic and President Donald Trump’s recent experience with the disease.
Fauci has been the face of the government’s response to the virus since it emerged earlier this year, but in recent weeks, some observers have realized he hasn’t been appearing in public as often as he did initially. As 60 Minutes noted, despite his prominent role as a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, he doesn’t always control how he appears to the public.
“During this pandemic, has the White House been controlling when you can speak with the media?” LaPook asked.
“You know, I think I’d have to be honest and say yes,” Fauci responded. “I certainly have not been allowed to go on many, many, many shows that have asked for me.”
The host pushed further for clarification.
“One of the most trusted voices in America, and yet, you’re not there, you’re not allowed to talk with us. So, can you understand the frustration that maybe there’s been a restriction on the flow of information and on the transparency…” he said.
“You know I think there has been a restriction, Jon, but … it isn’t consistent,” Fauci answered.
LaPook asked if the other man was surprised Trump fell ill with the virus. Fauci replied that he wasn’t at all shocked after seeing the president appear in crowds with hardly anyone wearing a mask and without proper social distancing.
He said he had a feeling at the time that it would turn into something worse, and it did, with dozens of people who attended the Rose Garden event announcing Amy Coney Barrett as the administration’s pick for the Supreme Court testing positive for the disease.
Fauci also reiterated that his appearance in a Trump campaign television ad making it appear as though he was praising Trump was taken out of context. He explained he was talking about the hard work the task force had been doing.
Trump lashed out at Fauci previously, after the immunologist said he felt harassed by the campaign for using his words out of context, mocking his predictions and his famously poor opening pitch at Major League Baseball’s opening day in July, as The Inquisitr previously reported.