Trump Calls Dr. Anthony Fauci ‘A Little Bit Of An Alarmist’: ‘We Are The Envy Of The World’
President Donald Trump called Dr. Anthony Fauci “a little bit of an alarmist” as the daily new coronavirus cases reach 75,000 a day.
In an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Trump commented on his relationship with the top infectious disease expert as tensions between the two men has escalated in recent weeks.
“Dr. Fauci’s made some mistakes, but I have a very good – I spoke to him yesterday at length – I have a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci,” Trump said. “He’s a little bit of an alarmist – that’s ok.”
Trump’s remarks come as Fauci has been warning the nation of worsening coronavirus situation across the country, calling it his “worst nightmare” on Tuesday interview with CNN. He urged the nation to keep wearing masks and follow social distancing rules and reminded that the virus was “highly transmissible.”
Trump, meanwhile, was seen repeatedly dismissing the severity of the pandemic, as the south and southwest have seen a record number of cases. He previously said that “99 percent” of coronavirus were “totally harmless” and blamed the high number of new confirmed cases on an increased number of tests being conducted.
“Cases are up because we have the best testing in the world,” Trump said. “No country has ever done what we have done in terms of testing. We are the envy of the world.”
He added that “many of those cases shouldn’t even be cases,” as “many of those cases are young people that would heal in a day.”
Trump talked about the mistakes he thought Fauci made at the beginning of the pandemic, citing his changed view on masks and banning travel with China.
“Look, Dr. Fauci said ‘don’t wear a mask.’ Dr. Fauci told me not to ban China, it would be a big mistake. I did it over and above his recommendation,” Trump said. “Dr. Fauci, then, said ‘you saved tens of thousands of lives.’”
The president then insisted he and Fauci had “good relationship” despite the disagreements. “I spoke to him yesterday at length. I have a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci,” Trump said.
Trump denied that the White House has been seeking to lower Fauci’s profile. White House officials, however, leaked a memo to various media outlets, that listed Fauci’s comments early on during the pandemic and said officials were “concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things.”
Members of Trump administration also encouraged anti-Fauci rhetoric on Twitter. Trump’s social media adviser, Dan Scavino, shared an image on Facebook depicting Fauci as a leaky faucet drowning Uncle Sam.
“Sorry, Dr. Faucet! At least you know if I’m going to disagree with a colleague, such as yourself, it’s done publicly – and not cowardly, behind journalists with leaks. See you tomorrow!” Scavino wrote in the post’s caption.
Fauci reacted to tensions in his interview with The Atlantic last week, calling White House attacks “bizarre.”
“I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that,” he said. “I think they realize now that that was not a prudent thing to do, because it’s only reflecting negatively on them.”