Dr Fauci said on Friday that he disagreed with the statement made by Mr Trump at the White House a day earlier, and called the current figures “disturbing.”
"I have to disagree with that, because, if you look at the thing that you just mentioned, the statistics ... they are disturbing," he told MSNBC.
The contrasting tone between the White House and one of the country’s most respected doctors comes just days after it was revealed that Mr Trump played down the severity of the virus earlier this year.
It is the second time this month that Dr Fauci has pushed back on the president’s unrealistic claims on the scale of the pandemic. Mr Trump told a rally in Pennsylvania on 4 August that the US was “rounding a corner”. Dr Fauci’s response came a day later: “I'm not sure what he means.”
Dr Fauci has been consistent in urging caution when it comes to the battle against the deadly virus. On Thursday, he warned that the coming winter may in fact lead to an increase in cases.
“Don’t ever, ever underestimate the potential of the pandemic. And don’t try and look at the rosy side of things,” Dr Fauci said during a panel discussion with doctors from Harvard Medical School.
“We need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter because it’s not going to be easy,” he added.
At least 187,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus — the highest death toll in the world. Despite a decline in the number of cases in some areas, more than 1,000 people are dying each day from the virus.
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