Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said President Donald Trump's leadership is "rudderless."
According to Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, Fauci criticized Trump's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year.
Trump "is on a separate channel," does not stay focused during meetings, and has "rudderless" leadership, Woodward cited Fauci as saying.
"His attention span is like a minus number," Fauci said, Woodward writes in his forthcoming book "Rage."
"His sole purpose is to get reelected."
During an Oval Office meeting that included Fauci, Trump, and others, Fauci — the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — reacted to Trump giving false statements about the virus at a press conference.
"We can't let the president be out there being vulnerable, saying something that's going to come back and bite him," Fauci said. Woodward wrote that several people in the room, including Vice President Mike Pence, stiffened at the remark.
Woodward also wrote that Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked former President George W. Bush if he would talk to Trump about a global vaccine.
"No. No. He'd misconstrue anything I said," Bush reportedly told Graham.
Fauci responded to the claims in Woodward's book during a Fox News interview Wednesday afternoon.
"I don't recall that at all. So I mean, in the book — I didn't read the book," he said. "I don't want to get involved in the kind of stuff that is distracting to the kind of things I'm trying to do and we're all trying to do with this outbreak."
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