Despite being the face of the federal government’s coronavirus response for almost two months, Top White House infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has been conspicuously absent from the public eye for weeks now.
In the early and middle stages of the pandemic, Fauci appeared on national television for interviews multiple times a week and was featured prominently on the now-discontinued daily White House coronavirus briefings.
However, Fauci has not made a TV appearance since a May 4th interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, signaling that he may be stepping away from his once-prominent role on the task force.
As the US moves into recovery mode, Fauci’s utility in the nation coronavirus response seems to be fading. Fauci — who was the primary force behind urging Trump to enact extended lockdowns early on in the pandemic — came under fire for his reluctance to endorse re-opening the economy.
Trump himself has made no public statements about Fauci’s diminishing role as the public face of the coronavirus response but has been open about his disapproval of Fauci’s overly-cautious approach to moving on from the crisis.
The growing rift was highlighted last week when Fauci testified before the House that the US should be more cautious, and in regard to reopening schools specifically, we should not be “cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects” of the virus.
Trump openly pushed back against Fauci’s comments, saying that “We have to get [the country] open. I totally disagree with him on schools,” later calling Fauci’s remarks “unacceptable.”
Despite Fauci’s protests against rapidly-moving plans to reopen, hundreds of other doctors have come forward to support lifting lockdowns.
Over 600 medical doctors wrote in a letter to Trump this week that the lockdowns are a “mass casualty incident” due to millions of Americans being unable to access healthcare providers, increased drug and alcohol addiction, and the crushing effects of isolation on the human psyche.