Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Washington. Credit: Alex Brandon / AP

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci says a lack of candor and facts about the coronavirus pandemic under President Donald Trump “very likely” cost lives because it delayed getting sound scientific advice to the country.

“You know, it very likely did,” Fauci told CNN. “When you start talking about things that make no sense medically and no sense scientifically, that clearly is not helpful.”

Fauci didn’t single out failings by any individual or administration official, saying he didn’t want that to “be a sound bite.” But Trump frequently dismissed the advice of his administration’s scientists and claimed the virus would “fade away.”

President Joe Biden says restoring trust is a top goal of his coronavirus strategy. More than 410,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the U.S., the most in the world.