(Businessinsider) – Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said he hasn’t met with President Trump in more than a month, even as the US has recorded record-high levels of daily coronavirus infections and deaths are on the rise again.
The last time Fauci briefed Trump in person was June 2, the longtime leader of the US National Institutes of Health’s infectious disease unit said in an interview with the Financial Times’ Hannah Kuchler published Friday.
That was back when the US was averaging roughly 20,000 daily new infections. Throughout June and early July, the rate of new infections has steadily climbed, recently surpassing a record-high of 60,000 per day. Some of the hardest-hit states have also begun to see upticks in hospitalizations and deaths, metrics that typically lag behind new cases.
Fauci “is never in the Oval [Office] anymore,” one senior administration official told The Washington Post. The Post reported that tensions between White House officials and Fauci have risen, especially as Fauci has been outspoken about his analysis of the outbreak.
After those Tuesday comments to Jones, the Post reported the White House canceled television appearances Fauci had booked for CNN, PBS, and NBC.
“I have a reputation, as you probably have figured out, of speaking the truth at all times and not sugar-coating things,” Fauci told the Financial Times. “And that may be one of the reasons why I haven’t been on television very much lately.”
Since the beginning of the outbreak in January, the US has recorded more than 3.2 million infections and at least 134,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.