President Trump went off on the nation’s top pandemic fighter, Dr. Anthony Fauci, calling him a “disaster” and claiming Americans are “tired of” hearing about the coronavirus.
“People are tired of COVID,” Trump said in a call with his re-election campaign staff. “People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots, all these idiots who got it wrong,” the president added.
Trump also claimed during the call that “every time [Fauci] goes on television there’s always a bomb,” meaning there’s always some sort of a dig at him such as when Fauci told CBS’s 60 Minutes he was “absolutely not” surprised Trump contracted the coronavirus.
Trump also explained why he has not fired the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, saying, “there’s a bigger bomb if you fire him.”
At this point, Fauci and Trump are working together because they have to. Fauci told Newsweek last week that he is not quitting the position, even if Trump is re-elected.
“Not in my wildest freakin’ dreams did I ever think about quitting,” Fauci said. “Absolutely not. I’m not going to walk away from this outbreak no matter who’s the president.”
Trump has tried to push Fauci to quit but knows he can’t fire him because too many Americans believe Fauci over him and look to him for advice on COVID. Firing Fauci would also have dire implications on the stock market, which is already see-sawing on Trump’s claims.
Trump continued his attack on Fauci Monday afternoon on Twitter.
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
The president’s statement that Americans are tired of COVID was quickly used against him. Eduardo Silva, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee “War Room,” said in a statement, “Trump claimed that ‘people are tired of COVID,’ and he’s right — they’re tired of him ignoring experts and prolonging a crisis that has already taken more than 219,000 American lives.”
“For months, Trump has lied to the American people about the coronavirus, and now, as cases surge and hospitals are again being pushed to the brink, he’s clearly learned nothing from the pain and suffering he’s already caused,” Silva said. “Americans across the country are paying the price for Trump’s disastrous response to the coronavirus, and the more he doubles down on this reckless strategy, the more they’ll oppose his failed leadership.”
Coronavirus cases are growing in all but two states in the U.S. The country is averaging more than 55,000 new cases a day, and 10 states reported their highest single-day case counts on Friday. At least 27 states are showing an upward trend in the number of cases reported, according to CNN.