President Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci were back together at least, during the president’s tour Thursday of the American Red Cross’ Washington, D.C. headquarters.
When Trump restarted the coronavirus-themed press briefings again last Tuesday Fauci wasn’t invited. After Trump stopped having the briefings in late April, Fauci reported that he no longer was speaking to the president frequently.
But both Fauci and Trump, along with other members of the White House’s coronavirus taskforce, were seated around a table at the Red Cross to discuss the benefit of former COVID-19 patients donating convalescent plasma.
At an event centered on plasma donation, President Trump (right) appeared alongside Dr. Anthony Fauci and he sported a mask during a tour of the American Red Cross’ national headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared with the president Thursday during a tour and roundtable discussion at the American Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C. about plasma donation
Surgeon General Jerome Adams encouraged President Trump to keep up that mask-wearing, telling the president at the Red Cross that supporters in Miami wanted him to pass along a message: ‘They told me to tell you you look bad-ass in a facemask’
‘So if you’ve had the virus, if you donate it would be a terrific thing. We really need donations of the plasma,’ Trump said.
‘To those that have had the virus, you’ve gotten through it, I guess that means you have something very special there,’ the president added.
Fauci talked about the donations in more medical terms,
‘It’s the intervention early in infection to prevent people from needing to go to the hospital,’ he described as plasma’s use. ‘It is directed against the virus.’
He said that plasma use ‘could be a proof of concept’ that a vaccine could indeed work.
There are a number of vaccine trials against the coronavirus ongoing in the United States.
Earlier in the Red Cross tour the president and his team watched a patient donate plasma in real time.
For this portion, Trump wore a face mask.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams heralded that effort Thursday.
‘And Mr. President, I want to thank you for emphasizing the three Ws: No. 1, wash your hands. No. 2, watch your distance. No. 3 wear a mask,’ the surgeon general said when it was his turn to speak.
He also encouraged the president to keep sporting the mask, which he has only done twice in front of reporters.
‘I was in Miami just a few weeks ago and I promised them I would tell you this,’ Adams said. ‘I was in Trump country and they told me to deliver you a message Mr. President. They told me to tell you you look bad-ass in a facemask.’
It’s been Trump’s resistance to public health messaging that made is appear he had bad blood with Fauci, who has encouraged Americans to wear masks and frequently sports one.
In front of the cameras, Trump has insisted that he and Fauci get along.
Behind-the-scenes, however, the White House passed along fact sheets to reporters pointing out Fauci’s mistakes.
Then White House trade adviser Peter Navarro wrote a USA Today op-ed that also questioned Fauci’s expertise.
And then there was Trump’s claim that he was throwing out the first pitch at an August 15 Yankees game.
Trump told reporters of the plan the same day Fauci threw out his somewhat awkward first pitch at the Washington Nationals’ home opener.
But The New York Times reported Monday that the announcement was a surprise to the Yankees and to staff at the White House as Trump had told aides to reach out to the New York baseball team to make good on an ask from Yankees President Randy Levine for him to throw out a first pitch.
The date hadn’t been decided on.
The Times reported that Trump was annoyed that Fauci had been asked by the Nationals to throw a pitch so decided to one-up him.
But by Sunday the president had soured on the plan.
‘Because of my strong focus on the China Virus, including scheduled meetings on Vaccines, our economy and much else, I won’t be able to be in New York to throw out the opening pitch for the Yankees on August 15,’ he Sunday, using a slur to reference the coronavirus.