The nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said White House coronavirus task force leader Vice President Mike Pence is doing “a very good job.”
Fauci and task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx regularly sound the alarm about the pandemic at briefings or in interviews while Pence has touted what a good job the Trump administration is doing.
“In fairness to the vice president, the vice president understands that but he is trying in his role as the vice president to really, in a certain sense, also point out some of the things that are going well,” Fauci told the Wall Street Journal in a podcast Wednesday.
“So, he’s a person who’s an optimistic person and he’s doing a very good job as the leader of the task force, I must say,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“I look at the data, I analyze the data and I give my best opinion based on the evidence,” Fauci said.
He said there are many facets to the task force discussions on the pandemic and that he and his colleagues are primarily focused on public health. Pence, he said, has other concerns.
“There’s the issue and the need, from an economic standpoint, to get open. So all of that goes into the mix and then you see the kind of recommendations that go out but you know as a member of the task force, I’m telling you that we have a serious situation that we really do need to address.”
Fauci said the public health and economic policies need to work in tandem. Other health experts worry that President Trump has pushed his economic priorities at the expense of American lives. So far more than 132,000 Americans have died from Covid-19.
“We shouldn’t think of it as one against the other because once you start thinking there’s public health and there’s the economy opening it looks like they’re opposing forces,” Fauci said.
“So, what we’re trying to do is to get the public health message, if heard and implemented, be actually a gateway to facilitate opening and an easier way instead of there’s guys are on this side and those guys and ladies are on the other side.”