President Donald Trump on Monday unloaded Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease specialist, complaining that those working to reduce the coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly 220,000 Americans are all “idiots.”
“People are tired of COVID. I have these huge gatherings. People say anything. Leave us alone. They have had enough. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all those idiots, ”Trump said on a campaign call from his Las Vegas hotel.
The slam against Fauci and other public health officials is the latest rift between the president and scientists working to alleviate the highly contagious virus that has infected more than 8 million Americans.
“Every time it is on TV there is always a bomb, but there is a bigger bomb if you shoot it. This guy is a disaster, ”Trump said on the call, according to many. journalists who were listening.
In the past month – and since his own diagnosis of COVID-19 – Trump has toured the United States and claimed the nation is “turning the corner” on COVID-19, even though infections are now increasing with averages daily over 50,000 per day. Experts believe the virus will only get worse as winter approaches.
“Fauci is a disaster. If I listened to it we would have 500,000 dead, ”Trump said before adding later that it would be 700,000 or 800,000, after a weekend of crowded rallies that flouted CDC guidelines on social distancing and the use of masks. “If there is a reporter you can have it like I said, I don’t care.
Trump’s slam against Fauci came a day after the head of the National Institutes of Health interview with CBS ‘ 60 minutes, in which Fauci suggested the president’s reluctance to wear a face mask in public in the midst of a pandemic is because he “equates wearing a mask with a weakness.” Fauci added that Trump’s refusal to adhere to guidelines implemented by his own public health experts is “less anti-science [position] that this is no longer a statement.
“You know, a declaration of force,” Fauci said. “Like, ‘We’re strong. We don’t need a mask. That sort of thing. He sometimes equates wearing a mask with a weakness.
Trump shocked the world when he tweeted at 12:54 a.m. on October 1 that he and his wife Melania had both tested positive for the virus, throwing his re-election campaign into chaos and posing the gravest threat to the virus. health of a president in office for decades. .
After Trump spent three nights in hospital, White House doctor Sean Conley allowed the 74-year-old president to return to the campaign trail last Monday, saying he had tested negative “for several days in a row. “. Since his release, however, Trump has played down his symptoms and has since posed as a “warrior” against the virus, stating, upon his discharge from the hospital on October 5, that he felt “Better than 20 years ago!”
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