Members of the coronavirus task force had to convince President Trump to change his view on Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision to reopen businesses in his state later this week, a source close to the task force told CNN.
At a meeting just prior to yesterday's coronavirus task force briefing, task force members were discussing the likelihood that some of the doctors on the panel would be asked by reporters about Kemp’s controversial move to open up many businesses in Georgia, like nail salons and bowling alleys, the source added.
During the meeting, Dr. Anthony Fauci and others on the task force noted there would be a glaring inconsistency if the scientists were not in agreement with Trump on the Georgia issue during the press conference.
“I cannot defend this publicly,” Fauci said to others at the meeting, according to the source. Members of the group agreed it was necessary to attempt to change Trump’s mind on the subject.
Members of the task force then asked Dr. Deborah Birx, the panel’s coordinator, to try to convince Trump during a more private meeting she had with the President just prior to the news conference.
To the relief of other members of the task force, Trump went on to say he disagreed with Kemp’s decision.
The scientists on the task force, however, were not in agreement with Trump on CDC Director Robert Redfield’s interview in the Washington Post, in which he warned of the difficulties of a second wave of the coronavirus during the cold and flu season. That could not be avoided, the source said.