A top expert on viral infections has been given orders to not make any statements about the coronavirus without being authorized by Vice President Mike Pence.
The New York Times reports that Dr. Anthony Fauci, who serves as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has “told associates that the White House had instructed him not to say anything else without clearance” about the disease.
According to the Times, the White House has been trying to tighten its messaging on the virus by having all statements about it cleared first through Pence’s office. This comes days after White House officials issued completely contradictory statements about the virus being both “contained” and also likely to spread throughout the country.
However, Pence also appointed one of the major culprits of spreading misinformation to his coronavirus task force on Thursday when he announced that economic adviser Larry Kudlow would be joining the team. Kudlow this week infamously said that the virus had been “contained” just hours after public health professionals told lawmakers that the virus’s spread “might be bad.”