Dr Fauci, who’s part of Trump’s coronavirus task force, has been in a war of words with the Republican president over how best to handle a pandemic.
During a call meant to reassure campaign staff he has a path to victory on November 3 despite trailing in opinion polls, President Donald Trump called coronavirus expert Anthony Fauci a “disaster” on Monday.
Dr Fauci, who’s part of Trump’s coronavirus task force, has been in a war of words with the Republican president over how best to handle a pandemic that has killed more than 219,000 people in the United States.
The 79 years old scientist has served under Republican and Democratic presidents and is one of the most admired scientists in the United States. Though Dr Fauci has suggested that people should continue to take Covid-19 seriously, Trump has insisted that the worst has passed.
“Fauci is a disaster. If I listened to him, we’d have 500,000 deaths,” the US President during the call.
The scientist has openly criticised Trump for being cited in a Trump re-election campaign advertisement that discussed the administration’s pandemic response. Dr Fauci also told CBS News in an interview on Sunday he was not surprised that Trump himself contracted the virus.
The president, during the call from his signature Las Vegas hotel, said Fauci bombed during TV interviews but that it would be “a bigger bomb if you fire him.”
However, Dr Fauci’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump said that Americans were fed up of the coronavirus restrictions.
“People are saying: ‘Whatever. Just leave us alone.’ They’re tired of it. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” Trump said, whose rallies have seen people gathering without wearing masks and flouting social distancing rules.
“Fauci is a nice guy. He’s been here for 500 years,” Trump said.