Daily US Times: According to newly released audio from an interview with journalist Bob Woodward, President Donald Trump in March said he didn’t have “a lot of time” to meet with Dr. Anthony Fauci as the coronavirus pandemic surged across the US.
In the March 19 interview, the President hailed Fauci as a “sharp guy” who has “done it before,” but when pressed if he had met with the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and nation’s leading infectious disease expert one-on-one for a better understanding of the virus, MR Trump offered: “Yes, I guess, but honestly there’s not a lot of time for that, Bob.”
Trump explained: “This is a busy White House. We’ve got a lot of things happening. And then this came up.”
The President’s concession that he had limited time for Fauci, a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, in the early weeks of the pandemic is likely to fuel fresh scrutiny of his handling of the outbreak that has infected more than 7.3 million people in the US, including Trump himself.
In a video posted to Twitter from his suite in Walter Reed National Medical Center — where Trump has stayed since Friday after testing positive for the Covid-19 and he was airlifted to the facility from the White House — the President boasted that being treated for Covid-19 is “the real school” and that he’s “learned a lot” about the virus more than six months into the pandemic.
Trump said in the video posted Sunday: “This isn’t the ‘let’s read the book’ school, and I get it and I understand it, and it’s a very interesting thing. And I’m going to be letting you know about it.”
Trump’s concession with journalist Bob Woodward of not prioritizing time for Fauci, who was also highly appreciated for his work in the previous administrations, also underscores the tension that has defined their relationship throughout the pandemic.