N.I.H. Director Undercuts Trump’s Comments on Covid-19 Vaccines

“Well, yes it is, and I’ve said that often,” he said. “We want to set an example.”

Dr. Fauci, whose differences with the president have been noted throughout the pandemic, said that public health measures such as wearing masks, keeping physical distance, avoiding crowds and moving activities outdoors rather than indoors “are the kind of things that turn around surges and also prevent us from getting surges.”

“So I certainly would like to see a universal wearing of masks,” he said.

While Mr. Trump’s recent rallies have been outdoors or in airport hangars, they are certainly crowded, with little evidence of physical distancing. And even in places where there is an official mask requirement, like North Carolina, masks at the rallies are few and far between. The Republican chairman of the county commission where the rally on Wednesday took place said beforehand that the president should wear a mask, given the statewide order on face coverings. Mr. Trump did not.

Senate Democrats on Wednesday released a report showing that the delivery of prescription drugs by mail slowed over the summer as Louis DeJoy, the postmaster general, enacted cost-cutting changes at the United States Postal Service. That corroborates reports of delayed packages from across the country.

Delivery times lengthened by as much as 32 percent, and patients had to wait, on average, an extra day or two to receive their prescriptions, the report said.

Some delays were longer. According to the report, one company said, “The number of orders taking over five days to deliver has risen dramatically since the onset of the pandemic.”

Two Democratic senators, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, collected information from five of the country’s largest pharmacies and administrators of prescription drug programs.

Some deliveries began to slow before Mr. DeJoy, a Republican megadonor and ally of President Trump, took office in June, probably because of the coronavirus pandemic and disruptions in supply chain. But the delays were exacerbated in July after Mr. DeJoy started his cost-cutting measures, the report said.

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