The president told his supporters that ‘You won’t hear too much about it’ after the election.
At that point, a ‘Fire Fauci’ chant could be heard among the assembled crowd.
The chant then grew louder as Trump paused before commenting: ‘Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait ’til a little bit after the election.’
President Trump (left) on Sunday hinted that he may fire Dr. Anthony Fauci (right), the nation’s top infectious disease expert, after Tuesday’s presidential election
The crowd roared in approval. Trump then told his supporters: ‘I appreciate the advice.’
Trump then added: ‘He’s been wrong on a lot. He’s a nice man, though. He’s been wrong on a lot.’
Fauci has grown outspoken that Trump has ignored his advice for containing the virus, saying he hasn’t spoken with Trump in more than a month.
He has raised alarm that the nation was heading for a challenging winter if more isn’t done soon to slow the spread of the disease which has killed more than 230,000 Americans so far this year.
Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, irked the White House over the weekend after he gave a wide-ranging interview to The Washington Post in which he panned the administration’s coronavirus response
The relationship between the White House and Fauci appears to be at an all-time low this weekend, particularly after he gave an interview to The Washington Post in which he expressed frustration with the administration’s handling of the pandemic.
‘We’re in for a whole lot of hurt. It’s not a good situation,’ Fauci said.
‘All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.’
Fauci noted in the interview that Joe Biden’s campaign ‘is taking it seriously from a public health perspective’, whereas Trump is ‘looking at it from a different perspective. Namely that of the economy and reopening the country.’
At one point, Dr. Fauci was the face of the coronavirus response task force team who would host daily briefings on the outbreak.
He has since described the response as cases surge as ‘disjointed’, with the White House solely focused on getting a vaccine as quickly as possible, despite it not necessarily being the ‘silver bullet’ that completely ends the pandemic.
Fauci revealed to the Post the coronavirus task force meets far less frequently now and has a more limited influence on the president’s decisions as he becomes more focused on reopening the country.
‘Right now, the public health aspect of the task force has diminished greatly,’ he said.
At one point during the Post interview, Fauci checked himself and said that he needed to exercise caution in how he was speaking else he could be blocked conducting interviews in the future.
‘The last time I spoke to the president was not about any policy; it was when he was recovering in Walter Reed, he called me up,’ Fauci said while revealing that the president has a new favorite – Dr. Scott Atlas.
Atlas, a neuroradiologist, is now Trump’s favored adviser on the pandemic because he offered guidance that more closely align with Trump’s own views which is to reopen the country and let the virus spread among young healthy people.
It is not something that Fauci can agree on.
‘I have real problems with that guy,’ Fauci said. ‘He’s a smart guy who’s talking about things that I believe he doesn’t have any real insight or knowledge or experience in. He keeps talking about things that when you dissect it out and parse it out, it doesn’t make any sense.’
There is clearly no love lost between Fauci and Atlas either. On Saturday night Atlas posted a tweet mocking Fauci taking aim at him for giving an interview to the Post.
‘#Insecurity #EmbarrassingHimself #Exposed #CantThrowABall #NoTimeForPolitics,’ he tweeted.
Fauci noted that he has a lot of respect for chief of staff Mark Meadows who was direct and forthright in his answers who said on CNN last weekend that the administration was not going to control the pandemic.
‘I tip my hat to him for admitting the strategy,’ he said. ‘He is straightforward in telling you what’s on his mind. I commend him for that.’
White House spokesman Judd Deere did not take kindly to any of Fauci’s remarks to the Post.
‘Fauci ‘knows the risks from the coronavirus today are dramatically lower than they were only a few months ago,’ Deere said.
‘It’s unacceptable and breaking with all norms for Dr. Fauci, a senior member of the President’s Coronavirus Task Force and someone who has praised President Trump’s actions throughout this pandemic, to choose three days before an election to play politics,’ he continued.
‘As a member of the Task Force, Dr. Fauci has a duty to express concerns or push for a change in strategy, but he’s not done that, instead choosing to criticize the President in the media and make his political leanings known by praising the President’s opponent — exactly what the American people have come to expect from The Swamp.’
The president has recently taken to mocking Fauci and at a recent rally essentially called him an idiot.
‘People are tired of hearing Fauci and these idiots, all these idiots who got it wrong,’ Trump said as he recounted how the doctor one said face masks were not necessary before flipping on the issue.
Nevertheless, the White House does not seem to want to make any spat with Fauci public given his overall popularity.
However, the doctor is not revered among Trump supporters and Fauci has also told how he has experienced a rise in harassment and threats from members of the public.
A low point between Fauci and Trump was reached last month after the Trump campaign appeared to take the doctor’s words out of context for a political advert that appeared to show him praising the president’s response to the pandemic.
The Trump campaign used his image without his permission and twisted his words to make it seem like he was endorsing the president.
‘Together we rose to meet the challenge, protecting our seniors, getting them life-saving drugs in record time, sparing no expense. President Trump tackled the virus head on, as leaders should.’ Fauci is then shown saying: ‘I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more,’ creating the impression he is referring to Trump.
Fauci said his words were taken out of context from a statement he made in March.
‘In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate,’ he said in a statement.
Coronavirus cases continued their grim climb in the United States on Sunday
‘The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials.’
Trump has repeated asserted that the country is ’rounding the turn’ on the virus but Fauci disagrees saying the country may soon surpass 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day in what is likely to be a long and potentially deadly winter.
Coronavirus cases continued their grim climb in the United States on Sunday with Midwestern states experiencing record hospitalizations, as increasingly bitter rhetoric kept the virus front and center of campaigning two days before the presidential election.
Nearly 87,000 cases were reported on Saturday, with 909 deaths and record hospitalizations for the sixth straight day in the Midwest, according to a Reuters tally.
In October, 31 states set records for increases in new cases, 21 for hospitalized COVID-19 patients and 14 for record increases in deaths.
Trump, the Republican seeking re-election against Biden on Tuesday, downplays the virus and has accused Democrats of overblowing the pandemic that has killed more 230,000 Americans, more than any other country.
Biden and fellow Democrats have hammered Trump as a poor leader who failed to contain COVID-19 in the United States, which also leads the world in the daily average number of new cases.
Trump’s false accusation Friday that doctors were profiting from COVID-19 deaths drew harsh criticism from the governor of the election battleground state of Wisconsin.
‘We have a president that believes that the doctors are at fault, they’re messing with the numbers and he believes that it’s over. It ain’t over,’ Democratic Governor Tony Evers told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.
‘We have hospitalizations going through the roof,’ he said.
‘We absolutely need somebody that understands that this is an issue, it’s a thing. People are dying.’
Biden campaign adviser Anita Dunn defended doctors against Trump’s attack, saying many hospital workers did not have adequate protective gear for a long time.