Dr Anthony Fauci said his last interaction with US President Donald Trump was via a teleconference on May 18. Picture: Patrick Semansky/AP
Dr Anthony Fauci said his last interaction with US President Donald Trump was via a teleconference on May 18. Picture: Patrick Semansky/AP

Sign US has given up on COVID-19 crisis

Two weeks have passed since the US Government's top public health expert, Anthony Fauci, spoke with President Donald Trump.

Dr Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the national coronavirus taskforce.

His "last interaction" with Trump was on May 18 when he was asked to provide medical context during a teleconference of the nation's governors, CNN reports.

In addition, Dr Fauci said his contact with the president had become much less frequent.

There was a White House press briefing about COVID-19 on May 22 and the taskforce last met on May 28.

 

According to a tally by Maryland-based Johns Hopkins University, more than 1.8 million people have been infected with COVID-19 in the US.

More than 106,000 of those people have died.

The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on June 2 state 14,790 new cases of the virus were recorded, compared to Monday, and there were 761 new deaths.

Infections are also widespread with 34 jurisdictions reporting more than 10,000 cases.

However, social distancing measures have been relaxed in all 50 states.

Attention in the US has turned to race riots with people gathering en masse following the death of black man George Floyd in police custody.

Overnight curfews in a number of major cities including Los Angeles, New York City, Washington DC and Chicago have replaced coronavirus lockdowns.

Many of the protesters have been photographed wearing masks but standing in large crowds.

The physical distancing guidelines from the CDC advise people to "stay at least six feet from other people", to not gather in groups, stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.

 

 

 

Mr Trump addressed the protests in the Rose Garden yesterday before walking out of the White House and posing in front of St John's Church with a bible.

The president and those around him, including US Attorney-General William Barr, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, weren't wearing masks - a sticking point with Dr Fauci.

The public health expert last week said wearing a face mask was a symbol of "what you should be doing".

"I want to protect myself and protect others, and also because I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that's the king of thing you should be doing," he told CNN's Newsroom.

Dr Fauci said while wearing a mask is not "100 per cent effective", it shows "respect for another person".

President Donald Trump outside St. John's Church across Lafayette Park from the White House. Picture: Patrick Semansky/AP
President Donald Trump outside St. John's Church across Lafayette Park from the White House. Picture: Patrick Semansky/AP

 

 

Mr Trump retweeted a photo of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wearing a mask last month.

He told a White House press briefing he thought it was "very unusual" because Mr Biden had it on "outside, with his wife, perfect conditions, perfect weather" but wasn't wearing it inside.

Mr Biden responded, calling Mr Trump an "absolute fool".

"Every leading doc in the world is saying we should wear a mask when you're in a crowd," he said.

Mr Biden said wearing a mask "presents and projects leadership".

"Presidents are supposed to lead not engage in folly and be falsely masculine," Mr Biden said.

"It reminds me of the guys that I grew up with playing ball. They'd walk around with a ball in their hand but they didn't like to hit very much."

 

Pictures circulated last month of Mr Trump wearing a mask while touring a Ford plant in Michigan.

"I wore one in the back area, but I didn't want to press to get the pleasure of seeing it," he told reporters.

In a statement, Ford said Mr Trump had been encouraged to wear a mask when he arrived.

"The President later removed the mask for the remainder of the visit," it said.

 

 

 

The Washington Post White House Bureau Chief Philip Rucker said the news about the president not meeting with the top doctor "backs up what a Trump adviser told us: 'He's been over coronavirus for a long time'."

 

Back in February, the President said COVID-19 was "going to disappear".

"One day, it's like a miracle, it will disappear," he said.

 

Originally published as Sign US has given up on crisis



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