Fauci was ‘absolutely not’ surprised Trump got COVID-19
Trump’s strained relationship with Fauci has political overtones as the president defends his record on the coronavirus just two weeks before Election Day. Polls show him trailing Democrat Joe Biden in key battleground states, but Trump says he’s confident of victory.
“He’s a nice guy,” Trump said of Fauci in a telephone interview with “Fox & Friends” from the White House. “The only thing I say is he’s a little bit sometimes not a team player,” he added, denying the two were “at odds.”
Seeking to shore up the morale of his staff amid growing private concerns that he is running out of time to make up lost ground, Trump blasted his government’s own scientific experts as too negative, even as his handling of the pandemic, which has killed more than 220,000 in the United States, remains a central issue to voters.
“People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” Trump said of the government’s top infectious disease expert. “Every time he goes on television, there’s always a bomb. But there’s a bigger bomb if you fire him. But Fauci’s a disaster.”
Trump’s rejection of scientific advice on the pandemic has already drawn bipartisan condemnation.
Biden was off the campaign trail Monday, but his campaign praised Fauci and criticized Trump for “reckless and negligent leadership” that “threatens to put more lives at risk.”
“Trump’s closing message in the final days of the 2020 race is to publicly mock Joe Biden for trusting science and to call Dr. Fauci, the leading public health official on COVID-19, a ‘disaster’ and other public health officials ‘idiots,’” the Biden campaign said.
The GAO move comes after Democratic Sens. Patty Murray, Gary Peters and Elizabeth Warren wrote a letter asking the agency to “determine whether the CDC and FDA’s scientific integrity and communications policies have been violated” amid the coronavirus pandemic.