Washington, United States:
US President Donald Trump on Monday sued senior government scientist Anthony Fauci on a call with campaign staff, suggesting the highly respected and popular doctor was an “idiot.”
Fauci, a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has increasingly become a subject of the President’s frustration as he attempts to shape the message on the much-criticized federal response to the pandemic.
“People are tired of Covid,” Trump told his campaign team during a call attended by several members of the press.
“People say, ‘Whatever – leave us alone.’ They have had enough. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all those idiots, ”the president said, according to several American media.
The pandemic has killed nearly 220,000 people in the United States.
“He’s been here, about 500 years,” complained Trump of Fauci, 79, known worldwide for his work as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in suburban Washington.
“Fauci, if we listened to him, we would have 700,000 (or) 800,000 dead,” Trump said during the call, before saying that it would be counterproductive to fire him before the presidential election of 3 November.
The president’s latest attack appeared to garner a doctor’s defense from Republican Senator Lamar Alexander.
“Dr. Fauci is one of our country’s most distinguished public servants. He has served 6 presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan,” Alexander tweeted.
“If more Americans heeded his advice, we would have fewer cases of COVID-19, and it would be safer to go back to school, go back to work, and eat out.”
Trump’s remarks came a week after Fauci expressed his displeasure with the use of a clip of him in a Trump campaign video on the coronavirus.
“In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly supported any political candidate,” the immunologist replied, saying his statements in the video were taken out of context.
At various points in the pandemic response, Fauci clarified or corrected Trump’s public comments on the development of Covid-19 treatments and vaccines.
The tone between them was sometimes strained, as in April when Trump retweeted a post containing the hashtag #FireFauci – before reassuring Americans that “Tony” was doing a great job.
(This story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)