US President Donald Trump on Tuesday joked that “nobody likes me,” when he saw his approval ratings were lower than those of infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci.
Trump has been struggling to improve his standing with the voters over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. “It can only be my personality,” said Trump.
Trump, in the meantime, issued a defence of a disproved use of a malaria drug—hydroxychloroquine—as a treatment for the coronavirus, hours after social media companies moved to take down videos promoting its use as potentially harmful misinformation, AP reported.
The president and his son, Donald Trump Jr., and others had shared a video of the briefing where Trump promotes the drug. This prompted both Twitter and Facebook to remove the content. Around 17 million people had already viewed the video. According to scientific studies, hydroxychloroquine can do more harm than good when used to treat symptoms of COVID-19.
Many high-quality studies, including those from the US National Institutes of Health, WHO and universities in the US and around the world, have found no evidence that hydroxychloroquine when used with or without the antibiotic azithromycin, as touted by Trump, helps treat coronavirus infection or prevent the serious disease from it.
These days, Fauci, an infectious disease expert, is one of the most trusted people in government to whom many Americans listen to on how to protect themselves from the coronavirus.
Trump said he and others in his administration deserved plaudits for their handling of the virus, not just Fauci and another prominent member of the task force, Deborah Birx.
“He's working with our administration and for the most part, we have done pretty much what he and others, Dr Birx and others, who are terrific, recommended. And he's got this high approval rating. So why don't I have a high approval rating and the administration with respect to the virus?” Trump said.
“It’s sort of 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,” Trump added.
The national death toll in the US due to the virus is almost 150,000 and more than 4.3 million people in the US have contracted COVID-19.
Trump says, Fauci, who has been a subject of debate within the White House, had advised him that he did not have to close travel with China, where the pandemic had originated. Fauci has been quite frank in saying where he agrees and disagrees with the president.