During a Wednesday interview, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci, said he did not believe United States President Donald Trump distorted facts about the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March, veteran journalist Bob Woodward interviewed President Trump. Audio from the discussions had the Republican reveal that he always wanted to downplay the coronavirus and continues to do so because he wants to avoid a panic.
According to Fox News, "The Daily Briefing" host John Roberts recently asked Fauci on his thoughts of Trump downplaying the potential threat of the coronavirus pandemic. The medical expert said that he did not believe the Republican president distorted the facts about the crisis.
Fauci revealed that during his discussions with Trump, the conversations were always straightforward. The NIAID director said during every briefing that Trump relayed the same concerns to the public.
The medical expert said it might have happened but that he did not see distortion in the president's speeches.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended Trump shortly after the audio of Woodward's interview with the president. She said that the Republican leader continued to be an excellent leader to the American people by remaining calm amid the pandemic and that he has never lied to his people about the virus.
During the interview with Fauci, Roberts also asked the director if Trump discussed downplaying the coronavirus crisis with his advisers. The host noted the medical expert was present during the events and asked whether the US president spoke about it or if it was his own direction.
Fauci stressed that what they discussed behind closed doors was similar to what Trump announced publicly to the American people.
President Trump has continued to defend his response to the coronavirus pandemic by showcasing his travel bans on Chinese foreigners due to the virus originating from Wuhan. However, the White House refused to take responsibility for the failed handling of the COVID-19 virus, as reported by Politico.
While Fauci supported Trump, the NIAID director avoided directly commenting on the Woodward interviews. The medical expert said that the downplaying of the virus might have happened but stressed that the discussions were about events that did not involve him.
During Woodward's interview, he quoted Fauci saying Trump was on a separate channel and that he had less than stellar attention span. The journalist also said the NIAID director believed Trump only cared about getting reelected.
Fauci denied the quotes saying Woodward got them from second-hand sources and not directly from him. The medical expert also noted that the drama was a distraction from the coronavirus task force's efforts in battling the pandemic.
According to the New York Post, Secretary McEnany said that NIAID director Fauci has always been full of praise for the US president amid the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The House secretary said that Trump continuously followed his medical advisers' recommendations, including Fauci, who commended the Republican for his response to the virus.