‘He’s a Democrat, everybody knows it, he’s Cuomo’s friend,’ Trump said of Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, as he referenced New York’s Democratic governor.
The president called Fauci a ‘friend’ and a ‘nice guy’ before making up quotes that the doctor said, such as, ‘do not wear a mask under any circumstances.’
President Donald Trump lashed out at Dr. Anthony Fauci during his Thursday’s rally in Greenville, North Carolina. Trump suggested Fauci was a ‘Democrat’ and a friend of Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
The president also boasted about the number of mask-wearing supporters at his North Carolina rally, however photos and accounts from the ground show that mask-wearing was largely sporadic
Trump hit Fauci (pictured), claiming he said ‘do not wear a mask under any circumstances.’ Fauci warned of a PPE shortage in the early weeks of the pandemic, but never signaled mask-wearing was bad
Mask-wearing was more prevelant in this section of President Donald Trump’s Greenville, North Carolina crowd
‘So we don’t wear them,’ Trump said. ‘And then they say, “wear a mask.” Do you ever see any conflicts?’
Fauci had advised every U.S. president since GOP President Ronald Reagan. That includes Republican Presidents George H.W. Bush, George Bush and Trump.
He recently objected to being used in a Trump campaign ad, saying that his comments, which portrayed the president in a good light, were taken out of context.
Early in the pandemic, Fauci had urged Americans to reserve masks for healthcare professionals fearing that there could be a personal protective equipment shortage.
‘It’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences – people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face,’ Fauci also said.
More recently, Trump has parroted a version of that line when asked about his resistance to mask-wearing.
Fauci, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has since recommended Americans wear masks, now that there’s evidence of coronavirus spread due to people unaware they’re infected.
For the second time Thursday, Trump also cited dubious numbers claiming that ’85 per cent’ of people who wear masks catch the coronavirus.
The president continued to complain that he’s taken heat for hosting large rallies without social distancing where many of his supporters do not wear masks.
‘And look at all the masks,’ Trump told his Greenville, North Carolina audience Thursday. ‘They keep saying nobody wears masks.’
Reporters on the ground and photographs show only sporadic mask-wearing.
The president and his aide Hope Hicks, who was also recently infected with the coronavirus, did not wear masks Thursday.
The president also boasted that Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who formerly represented North Carolina in the House, didn’t fear getting the virus when the president was contagious.
‘And he followed me and I said, “You know what? I just tested positive.” He didn’t care. He was in that helicopter,’ the president said.
Meadows also traveled to North Carolina Thursday sans mask.
Earlier this week he was caught on camera refusing to talk to reporters on Capitol Hill unless he could do so bare-faced.
Trump continued to blame Democratic governors for the pandemic’s most negatives results.
‘Cuomo did the worst job of any governor in the United States,’ Trump told the crowd.
The administration, on the other hand, should be applauded.
‘I don’t want the credit, but our vice president worked 24 hours a day, Mike Pence,’ Trump said.
‘And we had a lot of governors, they worked with us, but we had some that were really good and some that were really not so good,’ the president said. ‘I’ll let you know, one day I’ll write a little book and I’ll tell you who the good ones were.’
Cuomo’s Senior Advisor Rich Azzopardi pushed back on the president’s criticism of the New York governor.
‘Give me a break – more than 216,000 Americans died because of the federal government’s incompetent and bumbling pandemic response and – Trump knew the whole time how deadly it was and never raised the alarm,’ Azzopardi said in a statement to DailyMail.com. ‘Instead he told the American people to drink bleach and then went golfing – a lot.’
‘The Governor has worked hard every day to protect New Yorkers and cut everyone’s taxes while Trump raised them with his SALT cap – not that he’d know, he doesn’t pay them anyway,’ Azzopardi said.
The 2017 Republican-led tax cut stopped allowing Americans to deduct state and local taxes – known as ‘SALT’ – from their federal income taxes, which heavily impacted a number of blue states, including New York.