Fauci Says He Can’t Stop Trump From Talking At Briefings

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, right, and President Donald Trump listen as Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Saturday, March 21, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he can’t jump in front of the microphone to stop President Donald Trump from speaking at daily White House briefings on the coronavirus outbreak.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert tells Science magazine in an interview that Trump listens “even though we disagree on some things.”

“He goes his own way. He has his own style,” Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in the telephone interview with the magazine on Sunday. “But on substantive issues, he does listen to what I say.”

Trump complained at a recent briefing that China should have told the world about the virus much earlier. The new coronavirus originated in China. Fauci says he told the “appropriate people” after Trump made the comment that “it doesn’t comport, because two or three months earlier would have been September.” The coronavirus emerged in central China in December.

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Fauci said that Trump’s aides may caution him against repeating the statement but that if the president chooses to say it again, “I can’t jump in front of the microphone and push him down.”

Trump and Fauci sparred politely but publicly last week over whether a malaria drug would work to treat people with the coronavirus disease.

Asked about being present when things are said that he disagrees with, Fauci said: “I don’t disagree in the substance. It is expressed in a way that I would not express it, because it could lead to some misunderstanding about what the facts are about a given subject.”

Twitter notices when Fauci isn’t present for the briefings.

On Friday, the doctor put a hand over his face when Trump injected a conspiracy theory into the proceeding by referring to the State Department as the “Deep State Department.”

Fauci’s brief hand movement and facial expression became an internet meme.

Asked if he’d been criticized for it, Fauci said “no comment.”

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus.

According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.



  1. Who the h-l Fauci thinks he is? He is unelected bureaucrat who only cares about his ego. It is not his business to tell the President not to speak to American people. Fauci already has shown his incompetence during swine flu and Ebola outbreaks. We never heard of him or saw his annoying face on TV back then. I am sick and tired to see this self-promoting freak on every interview out there.

  2. Wonder if Doc Fauchi talks out of both sides because he did a Facebook interview with Mark Zuckerberg last Friday and was very very respectful across the board.

    Unless of course, this story is FakeNews.

  3. Fauci is a medical person who would like to cure Trump of “Hoof in Mouth” disease (as have so many others tried, but failed),

  4. Moishe – Fauci is a kind, thoughtful, and modest immunologist who has dedicated his life to helping people, many through direct treatment as a doctor, and many more through his study of HIV, SARS, and other diseases. His understand of both the basic science and public-health aspects of managing diseases is widely respected by everyone I know that works in this field.

    The president, on the other hand, is an immature self-centered, name-calling child who displays his deep and vast ignorance at almost every opportunity. In the present case, unfortunately, the President has spent weeks telling people not to worry about this since it’s basically the flu. He irresponsibly informed the public about possible medicines, and that information itself has already led dozens of people to chase these meds and mistakenly kill themselves. Ask anyone that has any experience in this field and they will be equally horrified by what the president says on TV.