Speed Reads

'a serious problem'

Fauci contradicts Pence's positive spin in 1st coronavirus briefing in months

Dr. Anthony Fauci during the first coronavirus task force briefing since April warned of a "serious problem" the U.S. is facing in some areas, while Vice President Mike Pence touted that the country is in a "much better place."

During the Friday briefing, Pence said there's "work to do" as cases rise in numerous states but also spoke on the "progress that we've made as a country" since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, pointing to a decline in COVID-19 deaths.

"There may be a tendency among the American people to think that we are back to that place where we were two months ago, that we're in a time of great losses and great hardship on the American people," Pence said. "The reality is we're in a much better place. ... The truth is, we did slow the spread. We flattened the curve."

Later, Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, struck a bit of a different tone, noting that there are areas that are "doing very well" but sounding the alarm about rising COVID-19 cases in other states.

"As you can see, we are facing a serious problem in certain areas," Fauci said, pointing to the "resurgence of cases" the U.S. has been experiencing.

Despite Pence saying that all 50 states are "opening up safely and responsibly," Fauci suggested some might have opened too early or had residents not follow guidelines. Fauci also urged the public going forward to be "part of the solution" during the pandemic, and not "part of the problem." Brendan Morrow