Fauci evidently stops doing television interviews as the White House moves to reopen the economy

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Medical professionals pass each other a coronavirus test at a drive-thru testing site at Cambridge Health Alliance Somerville Hospital on April 28, 2020 in Somerville, Massachusetts.
Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, gave a television interview for the last time when he spoke with CNN anchor Chris Cuomo on May 4.

Before his recent absence from radio waves, Fauci appeared regularly in national news programs to update the American people on the country’s fight against coronavirus.

Fauci’s absence was particularly noteworthy this week, given the first positive results regarding a vaccine developed by the modern biotechnology company in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, which includes Fauci’s NIAID.
Despite NIH’s role in helping to develop the vaccine, Fauci has not appeared in interviews to discuss promising results.

Fauci was present at Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” briefing last Friday when the administration detailed a plan to distribute a possible vaccine. He wore a mask and stood behind the President. But he made no comment, unlike other briefings and events where he was on the front line.

Instead, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who oversees the NIH, took the initiative to discuss a potential vaccine, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” and CBS News’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Spokesmen for NIH, NIAID and the White House, who coordinated the interviews for the coronavirus task force, offered no comment when asked why Fauci suddenly stopped giving interviews.

Fauci, however, offered a comment to the Washington Post for a story that was published Wednesday after CNN asked the White House and NIH for his absence.

Fauci’s absence comes when the recently implemented White House communication team changed its public relations strategy for the pandemic.

President Trump, who previously held freewheeling press conferences, stopped doing it every day following an effort between helpers and allies who believed that briefings had politically damaged him.

And in recent weeks, the White House has reoriented its message about the country’s reopening amid the economic chaos caused by the virus.

While the President and the White House have pushed for the economy to reopen, some experts have warned that it may be too early.

In the debate, the best doctors in the nation, such as Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus response, were largely absent from the conversation.

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