For months, Fauci's blunt assessments of the pandemic and straightforward communication style have won him praise from the public. But his warnings about the pandemic have clashed with Trump's messaging, which has largely downplayed the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States and projected optimism that the US can reopen.
The Washington Post and New York Times reported that in an attempt to undercut Dr. Fauci, the White House has severely limited Fauci's outside media appearances on television and circulated an opposition-research style document with attacks on Fauci's credibility to reporters.
The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to worsen in the United States, with confirmed cases dramatically rising throughout the country and deaths beginning to climb again as well. As of Monday , there are 3.3 million confirmed cases and over 134,000 deaths from the disease.
In his media appearances, Fauci has sounded the alarm about the outbreak's trajectory and directly contradicted Trump. In an interview on FiveThirtyEight's podcast , he said, "When you compare us to other countries, I don't think you can say we're doing great...I mean, we're just not."
"I'm trying to figure out where the president got that number. What I think happened is that someone told him that the general mortality is about 1 percent. And he interpreted, therefore, that 99 percent is not a problem, when that's obviously not the case," Fauci said.
Fauci has not spoken with Trump since early June and does not regularly brief the president, the Post reported.
But despite the increased clashes between Fauci and the White House, Fauci still "has no plans to abandon his post, which includes a critical role in thedevelopment of a coronavirus vaccine and treatments," the Post said.
The Post also reported that Trump doesn't plan to fire Fauci from his position at the NIH, noting that Fauci enjoys widespread, bipartisan support in Congress thanks to his more than 50 years of service in the federal government.
As Matthew Tully, an attorney representing federal government employees, explained in FedSmith in late April , Fauci is a member of the Senior Executive Service within the federal government, whose members can only be fired for conditions, like misconduct or malfeasance, and have additional protections against being arbitrarily removed.