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Trump calls Fauci remarks on risks to reopening economy unacceptable

Reuters logo Reuters 5/13/2020


WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday described as not acceptable a warning given by top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci this week about the dangers of reopening the economy too quickly.

"To me it's not an acceptable answer," Trump told reporters at the White House, noting he was surprised by the response Fauci gave to lawmakers in testimony to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

Fauci, who directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that a premature lifting of lockdowns could lead to additional outbreaks of the deadly coronavirus, which has killed more than 82,000 people in the United States and brought the economy to its knees.

The 79-year-old doctor has become a target for criticism from the American far right and online conspiracy theorists since he made statements about the outbreak that were at odds with Trump's.

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The president, who previously made the strength of the economy central to his pitch for his November re-election bid, has encouraged states to reopen businesses that had been deemed non-essential amid the pandemic.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Tim Ahmann and Alexandra Alper; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney)

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