White House coronavirus expert Fauci has surgery to remove vocal cord polyp

Dr. Fauci expresses optimism over potential coronavirus vaccine

Dr. Anthony Fauci said at the House coronavirus committee hearing he ‘hopes to have a safe and effective vaccine’ in the upcoming months; Mike Emanuel reports.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top epidemiologist, had a vocal cord polyp removed via outpatient surgery Thursday morning, Fox News has confirmed.

As a result of the surgery, Fauci will have to rest "his voice for a few days," according to a spokesperson. CNN first reported the story.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been one of the highest-profile figures as the Trump administration has responded to the coronavirus pandemic. He was a regular at the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings earlier in the pandemic and has since been a regular in TV interviews, social media interviews with celebrities like Matthew McConaughey and in congressional hearings.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies before a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump administration officials are set to defend the federal government’s response to the coronavirus crisis at the hearing hosted by a House panel calling for a national plan to contain the virus. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

But, Fauci more recently has fallen out of the good graces of some members of the administration, most notably trade adviser Peter Navarro, who accused him of being “wrong” on the coronavirus at every step in a stunning op-ed published by USA Today.

“Dr. Anthony Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public, but he has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on,” Navarro wrote.

“Ultimately, it hurts the president to do that,” Fauci told The Atlantic. “When the staff lets out something like that and the entire scientific and press community push back on it, it ultimately hurts the president.”

"You make a really good point that is the subject of a lot of debate," he said in response to a question from McConaughey on Instagram Live. "My recommendation as you probably know because I've said it publicly so many times is that absolutely we should have universal wearing of masks."

Fauci added: "The difficulty with mandates is that it tends to be a pushback about, 'do you have to waste time enforcing it, or can you really use the power of persuasion from the leadership, everybody doing it, because it's so important?' And there's a debate whether you get any extra mileage out of mandating it. Myself, personally, I would say everybody should have to use it."

Fox News' Brooke Singman and Lillian LeCroy contributed to this report. 

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