Trump Splits with Dr. Fauci on Pushing to Reopen Schools by the Fall amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Elsewhere this week, health officials warned other members of Congress that if states rushes to reopen without a vaccine then they could be at risk of another outbreak in the fall.

Dr. Rick Bright, a virologist who filed a whistleblower complaint earlier this month alleging he was fired as the director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) after disagreeing with Trump's promotion of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment, testified in the House of Representatives on Thursday that the "window is closing" for the U.S. to form an effective and coordinated plan to stop the virus.

"Without better planning, 2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history," Bright told members of the House.

"Americans deserve the truth" and "the truth must be based on science," Bright said.

"The window is closing to address this pandemic because we still do not have a standard, centralized, coordinated plan to take our nation through this response," he said. "I believe with properly leadership and collaboration across government, with the best science leading the way, we can devise a comprehensive strategy, we can devise a plan that includes all of Americans and help them help us guide us through this pandemic. But time is running out because the virus is still spreading everywhere."

On Thursday, the president brushed off Bright as "an angry, disgruntled employee" and said he "didn't do a very good job" as the director of BARDA, though Trump has also claimed he'd "never heard of him [Bright]."

Trump has split with health officials before regarding the coronavirus. He's ignored their recommendations about protective practices (such as wearing a mask) and floated suggestions for unproven methods of treatment, including hydroxychloroquine or injecting disinfectant into the body.

The president retweeted a "#FireFauci" hashtag last month, while Bright contends he was removed from his position because of disagreeing with the president publicly endorsing hydroxychloroquine (an anti-malaria drug some health experts warn has no clinically proven effect on coronavirus and could cause deadly heart problems).

More than 84,000 people in the U.S. have died from the virus, according to a New York Times tracker. Nearly 1.4 million of the world's 4.3 million confirmed cases for the virus are in the U.S., available data shows.

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