WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — In a call with his campaign team Monday morning, President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out at the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, labeling him a “disaster.”
Trump made the comments while complaining about all the attention given to the coronavirus pandemic.
“People are tired of COVID. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots… Fauci’s a nice guy, he’s been here for 500 years.” the president said, according to tweets from Maggie Haberman of the New York Times.
Members of the press were invited to listen to the call. Trump went on to say he’d get negative press in the event he fired Fauci.
“Fauci, if you listened to him, we’d have 700,00, 800,000 deaths,” Trump added, according to Politico.
The current U.S. death toll is approaching 220,000.
Last week, Fauci argued the community “infection baseline” in the United States is going in the wrong direction as we head into the cool months of the fall.
“You kind of kind of think about the country as a gigantic forest, and when there’s fires in one part of the forest, the other part of the forest is vulnerable,” said the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director.
“So if you want to get control of things, you’ve got to be consistent. We’ve got to do things with the ultimate purpose of getting control over the outbreak. And unfortunately, we haven’t done that as well as I think we could.”
Confirmed coronavirus cases have been rising again nationwide in the past month. The total positive cases in the United States recently passed 8 million, according the reporting by Johns Hopkins University.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
- The Virginia Department of Health is reporting 1,477 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, with 91 new deaths. The state's positivity rate remains at 6.3%.
- Many Virginians are anxiously awaiting their chance to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The best way to ensure the state knows you want your shot is to pre-register on the Vaccinate Virginia website.
- Some Virginia residents are raising concerns about COVID-19 vaccination scheduling. They told 8News, they're worried that there could be a potential to miss an opportunity for an appointment, as the Department of Health is reaching out through unknown numbers.
- Some New York lawmakers are calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's impeachment after reports late Thursday that his top aides altered a state Health Department report to omit the true number of people killed by COVID-19 in the state's nursing homes.
- A total of 763,439 people have been fully vaccinated in Virginia. According to the most recent Census data, there are 8,535,519 people living in the state.
- Health experts are trying to determine how effective the COVID-19 vaccine is at stopping the spread of the virus.
- A family is grieving a loss as painful as it is surprising. They believe 48-year-old father Ben Price took his own life after developing a rare and little understood phenomenon called "COVID psychosis."
- The Crater Health District will now be holding COVID-19 vaccination clinics at Virginia State University. The first clinic will kick off at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the VSU Multi-Purpose Center.
- Some people are now scouring the internet on the hunt for vaccine events and possible extra doses. They then show up at local pharmacies hoping to score a shot.
- The report links obesity with a series of health complications related to COVID-19. It found that increased bodyweight "is the second greatest predictor of hospitalization and a high risk of death for people suffering from COVID-19."