US President Donald Trump, during a call with his re-election campaign staff, slammed America’s top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci and called him “a disaster”. Trump suggested that the largely respected and popular doctor was an ‘idiot’.
“People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” Trump said. He even made fun of his Democratic challenger Joe Biden who said he will listen to the scientists.
As Fauci criticises the president on his response to the pandemic, Trump said, “People are tired of Covid.” He also said, “Fauci, if we listened to him, we’d have 700,000 800,000 deaths.” Trump added that it would be counterproductive to fire Fauci before the elections on November 3. The president's latest attack garnered a defence for the doctor from Republican Senator Lamar Alexander.
“Fauci is one of our country's most distinguished public servants.” Trump's remarks come a week after Fauci expressed displeasure at the use of a clip of him in a Trump campaign video about the coronavirus.
Fauci, at various points during the pandemic response, has clarified or corrected Trump's public comments on the development of Covid-19 treatments and vaccines.
"Tony Fauci has been the most clear, consistent proponent of the measures the United States needs to protect itself from a deadly disease," William Haseltine, a renowned public health expert and former professor at Harvard Medical School, told CNN.
Trump has implied that if he wins the re-election, he might embrace herd immunity advocated by his new favourite expert, Dr Scott Atlas. Trump, by attacking Fauci is arguing that Americans no longer want to listen to scientists who recommend social distancing and other preventative measures. Biden in a response to Trump’s swipes said, “They're (people) tired of your lies about this virus. They're tired of watching more Americans die and more people lose their jobs because you refuse to take this pandemic seriously."