Fauci: Coronavirus task force activity ‘intense’ despite decreased visibility

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciDemocratic lawmakers introduce legislation to ensure US can mass-produce COVID-19 vaccine The Hill’s Morning Report – Floyd eulogies begin; Trump-Esper conflict emerges Overnight Health Care: Hydroxychloroquine ineffective in preventing COVID-19, study finds | WHO to resume hydroxychloroquine clinical research | WHO says no evidence coronavirus is mutating MORE, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, said Friday that the White House coronavirus task force is still doing “substantial” work despite holding fewer meetings and making scarce public appearances.

“I think that what you’re seeing out there publicly doesn’t really reflect what’s going on,” Fauci told CNBC, noting there was a task force meeting earlier in the week and another one scheduled for Friday afternoon.

“Just because you don’t see the public press conferences does not mean that there’s [not] a lot of activity going on and a lot of attention paid to what we do,” he added. “But I could understand how you might come to that conclusion. But I think there really is a disconnect.

“The seriousness with which the task force takes and the effort that we put into this is really substantial, even though numerically the number of meetings might be less, the activity is still really quite intense.”

Fauci’s comments come as the White House has publicly signaled it is ready to move on from the health crisis associated with the coronavirus pandemic, even as thousands of new cases are reported in the U.S. each day.

Fauci said in an interview published Monday that his meetings with President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal plan to contain Washington protests employs 7,600 personnel: report GOP Rep calls on primary opponent to condemn campaign surrogate’s racist video Tennessee court rules all registered voters can obtain mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 MORE have “decreased dramatically” in recent weeks. The White House’s designated testing czar, Brett Giroir, likewise said Monday he is set to return to his regular duties this month.

While Fauci has continued to make regular media appearances, the coronavirus task force has not held a press briefing since late April.

Officials familiar with the matter say the task force is not as active as it was in March and April when cases and deaths were surging in the U.S. Instead, the group’s focus has shifted to developing vaccines and therapeutics, while Trump leads the charge to revive the economy.

There are more than 1.8 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins data, and more than 108,000 people in the country have died from the virus. 

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