Trump Says He Disagrees With Fauci’s Concerns Over Reopening

President Donald Trump accused the nation’s top infectious disease official, Anthony Fauci, of wanting to “play all sides of the equation” with congressional testimony Tuesday that warned reopening the country too quickly could lead to coronavirus case flare ups.

“I was surprised by his answer, actually,” Trump told reporters Wednesday at the White House. “Because you know, it’s just — to me it’s not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools.”

The president’s public rebuke of Fauci’s testimony was a remarkable split with the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has come under criticism from some Republicans who charge he’s been too cautious in his advice on lifting social distancing precautions. Trump has been pushing to reopen the U.S. economy faster as joblessness increases.

Fauci on Tuesday said that there would not likely be a vaccine or broadly effective treatment for coronavirus before the fall term began for students, and said the U.S. needs “to be careful we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects” of the virus.

Fauci said that while children “do much, much better than adults,” some young people with coronavirus are suffering from “a very strange inflammatory syndrome.”

He warned more generally that if states open before reaching criteria set by the Trump administration, “my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn in to outbreaks.”

But Trump said virus data paints a “pretty amazing” picture suggesting young Americans are largely untouched by the disease. He said his only hesitation on reopening schools was protecting teachers and professors who might be vulnerable to the disease, which has killed more than 80,000 Americans.

“I think they ought to take it easy for another few weeks — five weeks, four weeks, who knows, whatever it may be,” Trump said.

Trump echoed his disapproval in a interview taped Wednesday with Fox Business Network.

“I think that we have to open our schools, young people are very little affected by this, we have to get the schools open, we have to get our country open,” Trump said.

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