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World

White House accuses top scientist of playing politics on COVID-19

Fauci said Biden was "taking it seriously from a public health perspective", while Trump was "looking at it from a different perspective… the economy and reopening the country".
Published November 2, 2020

A new COVID-19 warning may have angered the White House, who accused leading infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci of playing politics just days before the elections day.

Doctor Fauci in an interview with Washington Post said that the US was in for a "whole lot of hurt", offering an assessment of how both President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, are approaching the pandemic.

As per Johns Hopkins University data, deaths in the US have now passed 230,000, while more than nine million cases have been registered. The US has recorded more deaths and cases than any other country.

During the interview, when he was asked about the approaches of the two presidential candidates, Fauci said Biden was "taking it seriously from a public health perspective", while Trump was "looking at it from a different perspective… the economy and reopening the country".

He said the US needed to make an "abrupt change" in public health practices and behaviours.

The comments receive a sharp rebuke from the White House, which accused Dr. Fauci for backing Biden in his quest for the presidency.

Spokesman Judd Deere said the comments were "unacceptable and breaking with all norms".

"As a member of the [US Coronavirus] Task Force, Dr Fauci has a duty to express concerns or push for a change in strategy, but he's not done that, instead choosing to criticise the president in the media and make his political leanings known by praising the president's opponent," he added in a statement.

Coronavirus has been a central issue as Election Day approaching.

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