Fauci is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force established in late January 2020, under President Trump, to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. He became a "de facto" public health spokesperson for the office of the president during the pandemic and a strong advocate for ongoing social distancing efforts in the United States. In March he predicted that the infection fatality rate will likely be close to 1%, which is ten times the 0. 1% reported rate for seasonal flu. On March 29, Fauci argued for the extension of the initial 15-day self-isolation guidelines, issued by the executive office, to at least until the end of April 2020. In mid-April, Fauci stated that if the administration had "started mitigation earlier," more lives could have been saved, and "no one is going to deny that. " He added that the decision-making for implementing mitigation measures was "complicated,” and "there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then. " Fauci's comments were met with a hostile response from former Republican congressional candidate DeAnna Lorraine. President Trump retweeted Lorraine's response, which included the call to "#FireFauci", drawing public alarm. "Fire Fauci" has also been chanted loudly by anti-lockdown protesters in various locations, including Florida and Texas. As a result, the White House denied that Trump was firing Fauci, and blamed the media for overreacting.