During a campaign phone call on Monday, President Donald Trump expressed his displeasure with Doctor Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, referring to him as a “disaster” and an “idiot.”
Trump has soured on Fauci in recent months because of Fauci’s ongoing criticism of Trump’s catastrophic mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed 220,000 American lives.
“People are tired of Covid. I have these huge rallies,” Trump said according to CNN, which had access to the call. “People are saying whatever. Just leave us alone. They’re tired of it. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots … Fauci is a nice guy. He’s been here for 500 years.”
Trump, as he so often does, tossed out fabricated hypothetical statistics to further his point – which is that 220,000 dead Americans is a testament to his success.
“Fauci is a disaster. If I listened to him, we’d have 500,000 deaths,” Trump continued, before claiming it could be 700,000 or 800,000. “If there’s a reporter on, you can have it just the way I said it, I couldn’t care less.”
On Sunday’s edition of 60 Minutes, Fauci recalled how concerned he became when Trump decided to start holding large campaign rallies, without wearing a mask, after receiving his own coronavirus diagnosis in early October.
“When I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded, no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask. When I saw that on TV, I said, ‘Oh my goodness. Nothing good can come outta that, that’s gotta be a problem.’ And then sure enough, it turned out to be a superspreader event,” Fauci said.
Trump said Monday that every time Fauci goes on television, he “bombs,” but that it would be an even “bigger bomb if you fire him.”
Trump also dismissed rumors that his relationships with top campaign aides and the Republican National Committee are collapsing.
“By the way my relationship with [campaign chairman Bill] Stepien and [RNC Chair Ronna] McDaniel, and [senior campaign consultant Jason] Miller is phenomenal,” said Trump.
Trump is really happy with his White House chief of staff too.
“I love Mark Meadows. It took me two years to get him out of Congress. Mark Meadows is doing a good job,” Trump said. “I’m not dismissing him.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.