President Donald Trump suggested on Sunday night that he will fire Dr. Anthony Fauci after Tuesday’s election, as his rift with the nation’s top infectious disease expert widens while the nation battles a worsening outbreak of the novel coronavirus that has claimed more than 230,000 American lives since March.
Speaking at a campaign rally in Opa-locka, Florida, Trump expressed frustration that the surging cases of the virus remains prominent in the news, sparking chants of “Fire Fauci” from his supporters.
“Don’t tell anybody but let me wait until a little bit after the election,” Trump told the crowd, adding he appreciated their “advice.”
Donald Trump says he’ll fire Dr. Fauci after the election. pic.twitter.com/48MlqaJdxA
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) November 2, 2020
It’s the most direct the president has been in suggesting he was serious about firing Fauci from his position.
In an interview with the Washington Post this weekend, Fauci cautioned that the U.S. will have to deal with “a whole lot of hurt” in the weeks ahead due to surging coronavirus cases.
Fauci said the U.S. “could not possibly be positioned more poorly” to stem rising cases as more people gather indoors during the colder fall and winter months. He says the U.S. will need to make an “abrupt change” in public health precautions.
Fauci added that he believed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden “is taking it seriously from a public health perspective,” while Trump is “looking at it from a different perspective.” Fauci, who’s on the White House coronavirus task force, said that perspective emphasizes “the economy and reopening the country.”