Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in 2019.

REUTERS/Erin Scott

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic was “very disappointing.”

Zuckerberg called out the US’s failure to sufficiently ramp up COVID-19 testing as well as the White House’s attacks on its scientists.

He made the remarks in an interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci that was livestreamed on Facebook.

“Now that we’re here in July, I just think it was avoidable, and it’s really disappointing that we still don’t have adequate testing,” Zuckerberg said.

Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday attacked President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as “very disappointing.”

In an interview with the infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci livestreamed on Facebook, the 36-year-old chief executive criticized the White House for the US’s relatively slow pace of testing as well as for the recent attacks on Fauci by administration officials.

“I was certainly sympathetic early on when it was clear that there would be some outbreaks no matter how well we handle this,” Zuckerberg said.

“But you know, now that we’re here in July, I just think it was avoidable, and it’s really disappointing that we still don’t have adequate testing, and the credibility of our top scientists like yourself and the CDC is being undermined, and that until recently parts of the administration were calling into question whether people should even follow basic best practices like wearing masks.”

The Facebook CEO did not name any administration officials as targets of his ire, but Trump has long been resistant to wearing masks in public, even as the evidence has grown ever more clear that they play a key role in driving down infection rates of COVID-19.

Zuckerberg and Fauci also discussed the progress of vaccine research as well as guidance for ordinary people (such as wearing a mask). During the interview, some users used the comments on the livestream to spread vaccine misinformation and conspiracy theories — highlighting how Facebook’s platform can be hijacked to disseminate hoaxes even when the company is trying to direct users to sources of accurate information.

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Facebook has faced intense scrutiny over its handling of Trump in recent weeks. Its decision not to flag or take down recent inflammatory posts by the president sparked unprecedented protests among employees — and contributed to an ongoing advertiser boycott over its approach to hate speech.

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