- President Donald Trump suggested that he plans to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases expert, after Election Day.
- “Let me wait until a little bit after the election,” Trump told a Florida rally in response to chants of “fire Fauci.”
- Fauci’s sober assessments of the coronavirus crisis have for months contrasted with Trump’s attempt to minimise the crisis.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump hinted to supporters at a midnight rally in Florida that he plans fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases expert, after the presidential election.
At the rally by Miami-Opa Locka airport Sunday night, Trump accused the media of exaggerating the impact of the pandemic, at which point his supporters began to chant “fire Fauci.”
After allowing the chants to continue for a few moments, Trump replied: “Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election. I appreciate the advice. I appreciate it.”
Trump supporters chant "Fire Fauci!" at midnight rally in Florida. "Let me wait until a little bit after the election," Trump replies pic.twitter.com/nGCirnZdRn
— BNO Newsroom (@BNODesk) November 2, 2020
The crowd cheered, before Trump continued, noting: “Nah, he’s been wrong on a lot. He’s a nice man though. He’s been wrong on a lot.”
Trump’s attempts to mitigate the urgency of the coronavirus, and refusal to offer much support for public health measures such as mask-wearing, have for months conflicted with Fauci’s blunt assessments of the crisis.
As the election nears, Trump has continued to hold packed rallies, and has claimed, groundlessly, that worst of the pandemic is over. He has at times stirred a conspiracy theory that doctors have inflated COVID-19 figures for profit.
Fauci, in an interview with The Washington Post on Saturday, painted a bleak picture of the crises the US faces over the winter, projecting that the number of cases would rise to 100,000 a day, and that an increase in the death rate would follow.
“It’s not a good situation,” Fauci said. “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.”
Amid attacks from Trump and his allies, Fauci and his family have received death threats, and he has been assigned a security detail.
Trump doesn’t have the power to directly fire Fauci, who is a career civil servant and not a political appointee, according to CNN.
However, Trump past week signed an executive order that would strip some federal government officials of their special status, making it easier for them to be fired.
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