Donald Trump has been absent from White House COVID-19 task force meetings for "several months," says White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Fauci.
According to CNBC, Vice President Pence leads the task force meetings that used to occur every day during the first few months of the pandemic but have now been scaled down to one virtual meeting a week despite cases continuing to rise.
"We certainly interact with the vice president at the task force meetings, and the vice president makes our feelings and what we talk about there known to the president,” Fauci told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.
Trump apparently receives all of his information via Pence and coronavirus advisor Scott Atlas, according to the director of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Francis Collins, who did an interview with NPR on Monday. Dr. Collins also sits on the task force.
“The President is routinely briefed about the coronavirus each and every day," White House spokeswoman Sarah Matthews told CNBC in a statement. "The relevant information is brought to him on the big decisions, and then he moves forward in the way that’s best for our country."
While the President misses task force meetings, the United States is averaging nearly 61,000 new cases of COVID-19 on a daily basis, CNBC cited. Texas currently has the most cases out of any other state of the last seven days, currently sitting at 35,292 according to CDC COVID data tracker.
Trump has also gone on record to ridicule Dr. Fauci, saying that he is tired of listening to him.
"Fauci is a disaster. If I listened to him, we'd have 500,000 deaths," he said, later repeating himself and raising the number even higher. "If there's a reporter on, you can have it just the way I said it, I couldn't care less."