Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. public health official on infectious diseases, said Tuesday he has not spoken with President Donald Trump in two weeks, which comes as some states are seeing a surge in coronavirus cases.
Fauci said he spoke with the president two weeks ago about "vaccine development efforts" during an interview with New York public radio WAMU.
The United States by far leads the world in coronavirus cases and deaths and many states are seeing upticks in case tallies as the economy reopens and Americans leave their houses after months of coronavirus lockdown measures.
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Fauci said a second wave "is not invitable" but states must be able to trace and monitor the contacts of infected individuals - a capability many states lack - to prevent case surges.
There is also concern that massive national protests against racism and police brutality may cause a rise in cases in the coming weeks.
"The demonstrations itself, you must realize are actually putting you and others at risk," Fauci said, while calling on protesters to wear a mask.
Fauci and Trump appeared together on a daily basis during coronavirus briefings in March and April that were viewed by millions. Trump has since dropped the live broadcasts as he attempts to shift focus away from the outbreak and towards reopening the economy.