US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci called the White House's efforts to discredit him "bizarre" on Wednesday, calling for an end to the split over the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying, "Let's stop this nonsense . "
Fauci, who became a popular and trustworthy figure during the Corona virus outbreak, was criticized by President Donald Trump and some of his Republican allies when Fauci warned against reopening the US economy too soon.
The recent surge in coronavirus infections, especially in the earliest states to lift coronavirus restrictions, has put Fauci on a collision course with the White House.
"One of the things that are part of the problem is the dynamic of the split that is now taking place, as it becomes difficult to have a dialogue about an honest assessment of what went right and what went wrong," said Fauci of The Atlantic in an interview.
"We have to own it, reset it and say OK, let's stop this nonsense and figure out how we can get control over it now."
The weekend, the White House distributed a list of statements Fauci had made at the start of the pandemic that, according to media reports, turned out to be incorrect as the understanding of the disease developed.
Trump said this week that he appreciated Fauci's contribution, but didn't always agree with him.
"You know, it's a bit bizarre, I don't really understand it," Fauci said in an interview with The Atlantic.
He said he believed that the people who were involved in the publication of this list, which was misleading because it did not include all of Fauci's statements or any other context, were "really surprised at what a big mistake that was" .
Tensions in the White House with Fauci have increased with the decline in Trump's popularity in opinion polls about how the President handled the outbreak
The Republican president, who is seeking re-election in November, has increasingly criticized government health officials and their leadership as an increase in infections threatens to loosen cut-off restrictions across the country
There are currently an average of around 60,000 new cases per day across the country.
The White House has denied that Fauci has been removed from circulation.
However, White House trade advisor Peter Navarro wrote a critical statement attacking Fauci for making mistakes.
Before leaving for Atlanta, Trump was asked if Navarro had become a villain.
"Well, he made a statement portraying himself. He shouldn't be doing that. No, I have a very good relationship with Anthony," Trump said.
Fauci said to the Atlantic: "I can't explain Peter Navarro. He's in a world of his own. So I don't even want to go there."
Fauci said in an interview with the Financial Times last week that he hadn't informed Trump in two months.
He said on Wednesday that his advice would go indirectly to Trump through Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
In his Atlantic interview, Fauci recommended that the country press a reset button and acknowledge that things are not going in the right direction
The increasing number of coronavirus infections shows that "we have to do better" and that states have to be on the same side and work on ways to control the virus.
"So instead of playing these games, we focus on that," said Fauci.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)