Trump Denies Undermining Dr. Anthony Fauci: ‘Nobody Likes Me’
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump denied that he had been trying to undermine Dr. Anthony Fauci, the well-regarded director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the nation’s top advisers regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
This statement came after Trump tweeted and retweeted misinformation about the coronavirus on Monday, including one that accused Fauci of misleading “the American public on many issues.”
Fauci has denied that he has done so “under any circumstances.”
Fauci has had his credibility questioned many times by Trump over the past few months. Trump has recently called the doctor “a little bit of an alarmist” and said that he has “made a lot of mistakes”; in addition, Trump supporters have written negative op-eds and spread conspiracy theories about Fauci, including one that claimed that Fauci created the coronavirus.
During the coronavirus briefing, Trump also complained that Fauci’s approval rating was much higher than his own.
“He’s got this high approval rating. Why don’t I have a high approval rating with respect – and the administration – with respect to the virus?” Trump asked.
He credited Fauci’s high approval rating to the Trump administration, saying that “It didn’t have to be Dr. Fauci.”
“So it is curious. A man works for us, with us, very closely – Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx, also – highly thought of, and yet they’re highly thought of but nobody likes me. It can only be my personality,” said Trump.
Trump was referring to Dr. Deborah Birx, who is currently serving as the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force. And unlike Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci, Trump has been advocating for the use of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that he himself used. The Food and Drug Administration has revoked the emergency-use authorization of the drug after data revealed that it was ineffective against the coronavirus and could cause health issues.
Trump’s complaint has caused #NobodyLikesMe to trend on Twitter.