Region:
United States
Category:
Politics

'Fauci is a disaster': Trump denigrates Covid expert in campaign staff call

  • 'Fauci is a disaster': Trump denigrates Covid expert in campaign staff call
    “Fauci is a disaster. If I listened to him, we’d have 500,000 deaths,” Trump said 'Fauci is a disaster': Trump denigrates Covid expert in campaign staff call
Region:
United States
Category:
Politics
Publication date:
Print article

President Donald Trump called coronavirus expert Anthony Fauci a “disaster” on Monday, airing his frustration with the scientist during a call meant to reassure campaign staff he has a path to victory on Nov. 3 despite trailing in opinion polls.

Trump and Fauci, a member of his coronavirus task force, have been at odds over how best to handle a pandemic that has killed more than 219,000 people in the United States and weakened the Republican president’s case for re-election.

Fauci, 79, who has served under Republican and Democratic presidents and is one of the most admired scientists in the United States, has urged that COVID-19 continue to be taken seriously. Trump has suggested the worst has passed.

“Fauci is a disaster. If I listened to him, we’d have 500,000 deaths,” Trump said during the call, which the campaign allowed reporters to join.

Fauci has openly complained about being cited in a Trump re-election campaign advertisement that discussed the administration’s pandemic response, and said in an interview broadcast on Sunday night by CBS’ “60 Minutes” that he was not surprised Trump himself contracted the virus.

Trump, speaking from his signature hotel in Las Vegas ahead of two rallies in Arizona, said Fauci bombed during TV interviews but that it would be “a bigger bomb if you fire him.”

Fauci’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump said Americans were fed up with pandemic restrictions.

“People are saying: ‘Whatever. Just leave us alone.’ They’re tired of it. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” said Trump, whose rallies include many supporters not wearing masks and standing shoulder to shoulder, at odds with the guidance of Fauci and other public health experts.