White House officials have tried to damage Dr. Anthony’s Fauci public image by circulating a list with Fauci’s comments to criticize his coronavirus handling early during the pandemic.

White House officials are trying to undermine Fauci for his handling of the virus by providing a document with Fauci’s comments to attack his image. Some points in the document go after Fauci for not handling the coronavirus pandemic well early on, as well as criticizing him for contradictory information about wearing masks and lockdown recommendations.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany denied that the talking points are “opposition research” and said President Donald Trump and Fauci have “a good working relationship.”

The president, however, has often publicly criticized Fauci after the top infectious disease specialist expressed concern over the coronavirus cases surge in the U.S, undermining Trump’s actions to contain the virus. Trump said that Fauci has “made a lot of mistakes” and admitted he has not met with him recently. Fauci, on the other hand, also told reporters he has not briefed Trump for two months.

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“Dr. Fauci said don’t wear masks and now he says wear them,” Trump told Gray Television’s Greta Van Susteren. “And he said numerous things. Don’t close off China. Don’t ban China. I did it anyway. I didn’t listen to my experts, and I banned China. We would have been in much worse shape. You wouldn’t believe the number of deaths more we would have had if we didn’t do the ban.”

Other administration officials have backed up Trump. “Dr. Fauci is not 100 percent right, and he also doesn’t necessarily — and he admits that — have the whole national interest in mind,” Adm. Brett P. Giroir, an assistant health and human services secretary, said in an interview to NBC’s Meet the Press. “He looks at it from a very narrow public health point of view.”

White House tensions with Fauci come amid a dramatic increase of coronavirus cases in 35 states, with more than 60,000 daily cases across the country.

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