Dr. Anthony Fauci has been a pain for President Donald Trump. Whenever Trump spouts optimism about the coronavirus and the country’s future in dealing with it, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the face of the Trump administration’s coronavirus response team, usually provides a reality check. For months, some in the GOP have tried to dismiss him, and he still receives death threats because of his no-nonsense talking points. Now, it seems that Trump wants to fire Fauci after the election.
During a late-night Trump rally in Florida on Nov. 2, the crowd began chanting “Fire Fauci,” according to CNN.
“Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election,” Trump said as the crowd cheered. “I appreciate the advice.”
Since the early days of the pandemic, Trump has blasted Fauci for his original stance on masks when he said in early March that “there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.” Continued Fauci at the time: “When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences—people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.”
Trump has used those comments to jump on Fauci’s qualifications, though Trump’s own surgeon general, Dr. Jerome Adams, had the same viewpoint around the same time. Since then, Fauci has been pleading with people to wear masks, as the guidance from the WHO and the CDC has changed regarding the wearing of masks. Most scientists and experts now say that wearing a mask is vital to slowing down the spread of the coronavirus. That hasn’t stopped Trump from constantly bringing up his old comments and saying how wrong Fauci has been. Trump has even called Fauci a “disaster.”
A few days before the crowd beseeched Trump to fire Fauci, the doctor blasted the administration’s pandemic response, telling the Washington Post, “We’re in for a whole lot of hurt. It’s not a good situation. All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”
As CNN notes, polling has shown that the public trusts Fauci more than Trump on coronavirus-related matters.
On Oct. 30, the U.S. set a record with nearly 100,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day.