Fred Hutch researcher: ‘We need facts from experts’ in coronavirus briefings

Mar 24, 2020, 9:04 AM | Updated: 10:56 am

Health experts, press briefings, coronavirus...

Dr. Anthony Fauci at a White House press briefing. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

As daily press briefings from the White House coronavirus task force have continued, some experts have begun to question their lack of expert analysis provided by medical professionals.

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“[Medical professionals] should be at the forefront — not politicians,” said Seattle Fred Hutchinson researcher Dr. Steven Pergam on Sunday.

“We need facts from experts,” Pergam re-stated Tuesday morning.

Many were concerned after Monday’s White House coronavirus task briefing, the second in a row where the nation’s leading infectious disease expert — Dr. Anthony Fauci — was again absent.

This comes as President Trump has begun to weigh relaxing social distancing measures in a bid to reopen the economy, against the advice of many health experts, including Dr. Fauci.

Meanwhile, rumors continue to swirl that the President has become impatient with Fauci, who has often had to correct inaccurate information from Trump in real-time during press conferences.

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“Mr. Trump’s patience has started to wear thin,” alleged a recent report from The New York Times. “So has the patience of some White House advisers, who see Dr. Fauci as taking shots at the president in some of his interviews with print reporters while offering extensive praise for Mr. Trump in television interviews with conservative hosts.”

Despite that, President Trump and Fauci have both publicly downplayed any supposed rift between them.

Regardless of the state of that particular relationship, Dr. Pergam calls for more insight in daily briefings from Dr. Fauci and other experts at the Centers for Disease Control. As of publishing, the last public briefing provided by the CDC was on March 9. That has since been replaced by briefings from President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s coronavirus task force.

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Fred Hutch researcher: ‘We need facts from experts’ in coronavirus briefings