The administration has largely struggled to contain the pandemic, actively pushing for businesses to reopen and sending mixed messages to Americans on public health measures as simple as wearing a mask in public.
Zuckerberg specifically criticized the administration for seeming to discredit Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“I was certainly sympathetic early on when it was clear that there would be some outbreaks no matter how well we handle this,” he said.
“But now that we’re here in July, I just think that it was avoidable and it’s really disappointing that we still don’t have adequate testing, that the credibility of our top scientists like yourself and the CDC are being undermined, and that until recently, that parts of the administration were calling into question whether people should even follow basic best practices like wearing masks.”
Earlier this month, White House economic adviser Peter Navarro slammed Fauci in a USA Today op-ed, saying that the doctor was “wrong about everything,” and administration officials have shared a list of “mistakes” that they say Fauci made in the beginning of the pandemic, such as early comments he made downplaying the use of masks.
Zuckerberg suggested that the U.S. should “reset,” saying that beating the virus should be the priority.
The discussion with Fauci came after Facebook announced a new feature focused on debunking myths about the coronavirus.
The platform has also elevated information from trusted sources and limited the spread of potentially harmful posts.
Despite those efforts, misinformation about the disease has been rampant across social media, causing what the World Health Organization has branded an “infodemic.”