In a press conference Monday, President Donald Trump appeared to blame former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for COVID-19 testing -- the new coronavirus had not infected a single human until late 2019 -- well into Trump's presidency.
Trump also mistakenly said, as he had in the past, that the 1918 flu pandemic started in 1917.
As the nation confronts a surge in coronavirus infections across the South and parts of the West, tensions between the White House and Dr. Anthony Fauci, a highly respected and leading expert on infectious diseases, have burst into public view amid competing assessments of the country's response to the crisis.
The efforts to discredit Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reached a fever pitch in recent days as top White House officials criticized his statements on the coronavirus in the early days of the pandemic, suggesting he has been wrong on numerous occasions.
A top member of the White House coronavirus task force said Tuesday that “none of us lie” to the public, an accusation President Donald Trump had retweeted, and that while kids need to be back in school as Trump insists, “we have to get the virus under control.”
Adm. Brett Giroir's comment came a day after Trump shared a Twitter post from a former game show host who, without evidence, accused government medical experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others, of “lying.”