Trump Torches Fauci: The Guy's a 'Disaster'
'Fauci is a nice guy. He’s been here for 500 years. He’s a disaster'
President Donald Trump slammed the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, calling him a "disaster."
Fauci, who assisted in setting national policy in response to the coronavirus pandemic, faced fire from the president, who said people were now sick of lockdowns.
“Every time he goes on television, there’s always a bomb, but there’s a bigger bomb if you fire him,” Trump said on the call, according to Axios.
Trump said Americans were tired of contradictory advice from health and political officials.
“People are tired of COVID,” Trump said.
“I have the biggest rallies I’ve ever had, and we have COVID.”
“People are saying ‘whatever. Just leave us alone.’ They’re tired of it,” Trump continued.
"People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots.
"These people. These people who have gotten it wrong.
“Fauci is a nice guy. He’s been here for 500 years. He’s a disaster.”
Trump said he didn't follow Fauci’s advice to the letter.
“If I listened to him, we’d have 500,000 deaths,” he said.
Trump later upped that figure to as high as 800,000 deaths later in the call.
The media was given access to the call, a point to which Trump alluded.
“If there’s a reporter on, you can have it just the way I said it, I couldn’t care less,” Trump said.
Trump later tweeted about Fauci.
“Dr. Tony Fauci says we don’t allow him to do television, and yet I saw him last night on @60Minutes, and he seems to get more airtime than anybody since the late, great, Bob Hope."
"All I ask of Tony is that he make better decisions. He said, ‘no masks & let China in.’ Also, Bad arm!”
Dr.Tony Fauci says we don’t allow him to do television, and yet I saw him last night on @60Minutes, and he seems to get more airtime than anybody since the late, great, Bob Hope. All I ask of Tony is that he make better decisions. He said “no masks & let China in”. Also, Bad arm!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 19, 2020
Trump was later asked about Fauci after he arrived for rallies in Arizona on Monday.
“Dr. Fauci is a very nice man, but we let him do what he wants to do. He gets a lot of television. He loves being on television, and we let him do it."
"Sometimes he says things that are a little bit off, and they get built up, unfortunately,” Trump said.
“But he’s a nice guy. I like him. But he’s called a lot of bad calls.
"He said, don’t wear a mask, and he said don’t ban China."
"They were bad calls. He admits that. And I don’t hold that against him. If I did, I wouldn’t have him. I think he’s a nice a guy,” Trump said.
Earlier this month, Fauci suggested Thanksgiving celebrations should be canceled this year due to the coronavirus.
“You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering, unless you’re pretty certain that the people that you’re dealing with are not infected,” Fauci told CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell.
“That is, unfortunately, a risk, when you have people coming from out of town, gathering together in an indoor setting,” he said.