WASHINGTON, DC -- President Trump said at Thursday's briefing that he disagrees with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s comments about not “overly confident” about the U.S.’ testing capacity.
“No I don’t agree with him on that. No I think we’re doing a great job on testing. If he said that, I don’t agree with him,” Trump said when asked about Fauci’s comments.
Earlier Thursday, Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said in an interview that the U.S. needs to “significantly ramp up not only the number of tests, but the capacity to perform them.”
“I am not overly confident right now at all that we have what it takes to do that,” Fauci said.
Fauci is not in Thursday's coronavirus task force meeting.
In the interview, Fauci also called it a "very critical time right now" for the nation as it pulls back from coronavirus mitigation.
"When we do start to see cases come back and I'll guarantee you they will — as we pull back from mitigation, we'll be seeing cases. If we have in place the capability to identify by testing, isolate, contact trace, get people out of circulation who are infected, that's called containment. If we are capable of doing that, effectively, then we should feel some good confidence that we can slowly move on," said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the task force.
Fauci said the country is dealing with different stages of the disease, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
"We have to realize that we're a large country that has outbreaks in different regions, different states, different cities, that have different dynamics, and different phases in which they are in. And that was the reason why when we put together the guidelines for, as we say the opening America, it was very, very careful and very conservative in making sure that you pass certain gateway points, checkpoints, before you go to the next phase," he said.
Fauci added, "I think sometimes and understandably, people might think that when you get back to normal, it's like a light switch that you turn on or off. It isn't really that at all."