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"None of us lie": Top testing official defends White House coronavirus task force

Washington — A top health official on the White House coronavirus task force said Tuesday that "none of us lie" to the public, contradicting President Trump, who shared a Twitter post baselessly accusing government medical experts of "lying."

Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health who has taken the lead on expanding testing, told NBC's "Today" that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical experts "are completely transparent with the American people." He said that coronavirus guidance, such as whether to wear a mask, has been updated as more is learned about the virus.

"We may make mistakes occasionally, but none of us lie," Giroir said. He also contradicted Mr. Trump's repeated assertions that the virus will "just disappear," saying that it will disappear if "we take active steps to make it disappear."

Mr. Trump retweeted a post from former game show host Chuck Woolery on Monday criticizing the CDC and government medical experts.

"The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19. Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most, that we are told to trust. I think it's all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I'm sick of it," Woolery wrote.

The back and forth comes as tensions have escalated between the White House and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. While Mr. Trump has praised his administration's response to the virus, Fauci has warned that not enough has been done to mitigate its effects.

Fauci said Thursday that the U.S. is not "doing great" in its response to the virus compared to other countries.

"As a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don't think you can say we're doing great. I mean, we're just not," Fauci said in an interview with FiveThirtyEight.

Administration officials have attempted to discredit Fauci in recent days, suggesting that he was frequently incorrect in the early days of the virus.

However, during an event at the White House later on Monday, the president said he has a "very good relationship with Fauci."

"I find him to be a very nice person," the president said, though he acknowledged "I don't always agree with him." A May poll by CBS News revealed 62% of Americans trust Fauci for coronavirus information, compared to 38% for Mr. Trump.

Over 3 million people in the United States have been infected with the virus, and over 130,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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