President Donald Trump on July 7 rebuked Dr. Anthony Fauci‘s assessment of the national response to the CCP virus pandemic, saying the United States is in a “good place” in its fight against COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
The president said he disagrees with remarks from Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), who said Monday that the status of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic in the country is “really not good” as cases continue to surge nationwide.
“We are still knee deep in the first wave of COVID-19 infections,” Fauci said in a Facebook and Twitter livestream interview with National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins on Monday.
“I think we are in a good place,” Trump said during an interview on the “Full Court Press” news show on Monday. “I disagree with him. Dr. Fauci said don’t wear masks, and now he says wear them.”
He added that the nation’s top immunologist has “said numerous things” including disagreeing with Trump’s ban on travel from China, which was enforced at the end of January.
“I didn’t listen to my experts, and I banned China,” the president said. “We would have been in much worse shape.”
“So we’ve done a good job,” he added. “In two, three, four weeks, by the time we next speak, I think we’re going to be in very good shape.”
Trump, however, acknowledged a recent surge of recorded CCP virus cases in states such California and Florida, but said “many other states are in very fine shape.”
On Sunday, Florida surpassed 200,000 cases, recording its highest number in a single day on July 4 with 11,458 cases—surpassing New York’s highest daily surge of 11,434 in mid-April.
In California, 10,000 positive cases were reported on Tuesday—a record rise for a single day that also surpassed the number of contact tracers recently trained by the state to detect and prevent potential outbreaks. Last month, CCP virus infections in the state more than doubled with over 117,000 new cases.
Cases of infection were overall on the rise in 34 states over the past week, with 12 recording an increase of more than 50 percent, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Three states—Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Vermont—are reporting a decline in cases.
Trump last week encouraged Americans to wear masks in public amid the rise in cases across the United States.
“I’m all for masks. I think masks are good,” Trump told Fox News Business, adding that he doesn’t necessarily support a nationwide mandate for Americans to wear masks. There are “many places in the country where people stay very long distance,” Trump said.
“If I were in a group of people and I was close, I would. I have. People have seen me wearing one, if I’m in a group of people where we’re not 10 feet away,” the president said. “Usually I’m not in that position and everyone’s tested because I’m the president and they get tested before they see me, [but] if I were in a tight situation with people, I would absolutely,” he added.
Trump said people “should” wear the masks if they “feel good about” doing so.
Venus Upadhayaya, Jack Phillips and Reuters contributed to this report.