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July 12, 2020, 8:22 p.m. EDT

Top U.S. coronavirus testing official says Fauci ‘is not 100 percent right’

Adm. Brett Giroir tells NBC News that additional shutdowns not necessary

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By Mark Moore

AFP/Getty Images
Dr. Anthony Fauci talks to Adm. Brett Giroir on Capitol Hill on June 23.

The country’s top testing official said Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has suggested states should pause reopening where coronavirus cases are spiking, is “not 100 percent right.”

“I respect Dr. Fauci a lot, but Dr. Fauci is not 100 percent right, and he also doesn’t necessarily, he admits that, have the whole national interest in mind,” Adm. Brett Giroir said Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.” “He looks at it from a very narrow public health point of view.”

Host Chuck Todd asked Giroir, the testing coordinator at the Department of Health and Human Services, about a Washington Post report that said Fauci has argued states with spikes should shut down again.

Giroir said he doesn’t “think we need to shut down” again — “at least in most places around the country” but suggested Americans “avoid bars” and “wear a mask in public.”

Trump last week said Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, has “made a lot of mistakes.”

“Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “A lot of them said don’t wear a mask, don’t wear a mask. Now they are saying wear a mask. A lot of mistakes were made, a lot of mistakes.”

Giroir also said the White House coronavirus task force openly discusses all options, batting back claims that members are being sidelined if they have opposing views.

“I want to just put this to rest. There is complete, open, honest discussion within the task force. Task force meets three to four times a week,” he said, adding that Vice President Pence regularly calls him.

“I feel absolutely free saying anything to the vice president within those rooms. The vice president, I know, briefs the president on a daily basis. So nobody feels like anything is held back. We all take this as a serious crisis. It’s got to be science driving the policy. And that’s the way it is,” Giroir said.

This report originally appeared on NYPost.com.

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