SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday was set to interview Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, on the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The discussion on Zuckerberg’s own Facebook page comes amid rising tensions between Fauci and the Trump administration, which in recent days has sought to discredit the director of the National Institute of Allergy of Infectious Diseases.

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“I’m grateful for Dr. Fauci’s leadership and looking forward to hearing from him,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post to announce the interview.

WATCH LIVE on CBSN Bay Area – 2 pm: Mark Zuckerberg Interviews Dr. Anthony Fauci 

Zuckerberg is also expected to share updates on Facebook’s efforts to limit misinformation about the pandemic on its platform. The ccompany said it was launching a dedicated “Facts About COVID-19” section in the COVID-19 Info Center, prompted on user’s News Feed, to help debunk common myths about the pandemic.

Fauci has essentially been shelved by the White House as a prominent spokesperson on the coronavirus pandemic because he’s publicly been more pessimistic than President Trump.

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In response to the multiple attacks on his credibility he’s recently faced from the White House, Fauci said in an interview published Wednesday that he doesn’t like “to be pitted against the president.”

“I don’t like the conflict. I’m an apolitical person. I don’t like to be pitted against the president,” Fauci told Norah O’Donnell, anchor and managing editor of “CBS Evening News,” in an interview for InStyle magazine. “It’s pretty tough walking a tightrope while trying to get your message out and people are trying to pit you against the president. It’s very stressful.”

Fauci’s comments come after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro published a scathing op-ed claiming Fauci “has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.” Although President Trump distanced himself from the op-ed, he told CBS News’ Catherine Herridge on Tuesday that Fauci has “made mistakes.”



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