Washington: America’s top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said that former US President Donald Trump used to coax him to downplay the gravity of the Covid-19 situation in the country, presently the hardest-hit in the world.
In an interview with The New York Times, Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, recalled the time when he worked as a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force under the Trump administration, indicating that at the early stage of the pandemic, the former President had been trying to minimise the situation, Xinhua news agency reported Monday.
“I started to realise that there was an issue here when you would say something and try and express the gravity of the situation and the response of the president was always leaning towards well,” Fauci told the newspaper.
“So it was always almost a reflex response when you would explain something, coaxing you to minimise it,” he added.
Talking about the former administration’s response to the pandemic, Fauci revealed that Trump tended to make the evaluation of medical interventions “based on no data but anecdotes… And that worried me very much”.
The medical expert admitted that he was at variance with Trump over the evaluation and handling of the crisis.
“There was an occasion or two where I would make a statement that was much more of a pessimistic viewpoint about what direction we were going with regard to the outbreak,” Fauci said.
“The President would call me up, you know, say ‘why aren’t you more positive? You’ve got to take a positive attitude. Why are you so negativistic? Be more positive’.”
The development comes as the US is still struggling to contain the raging pandemic.
In its latest update on Monday morning, the Johns Hopkins University revealed that the country’s overall caseload and death toll stood at 26,183,912 and 441,319, respectively.
Currently the country is averaging over 153,000 single-day cases and more than 3,200 daily deaths, according to the enters for Disease Control and Prevention.