President Donald Trump was taken to task by predecessor Barack Obama for suggesting he will get rid of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, after Tuesday’s election.
Obama, stumping Monday for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during a rally in Atlanta, ripped Trump for wanting to fire “the one person who can actually help them contain” the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“One of the few people in this administration who’s been taking this seriously all along, and what’d he say? His second-term plan is to fire that guy,” Obama said, 1010 WINS reported.
Trump, who increasingly has been at odds with the renowned doctor in recent months, made the comments Sunday at a rally in Miami as attendees chanted “Fire Fauci!”, responding, “Don’t tell anybody but let me wait until a little bit after the election.”
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has found himself in Trump’s crosshairs for contradicting the president’s message on the coronavirus pandemic.
The 79-year-old Fauci is a member of the White House task force assembled to respond to the pandemic, but has been largely marginalized as Trump grew irritated with his suggestions for more protective and proactive measures.
Obama said such talk is indicative of the administration’s inadequate response to the pandemic, as the U.S. outpaces the rest of the world in both coronavirus cases and related deaths.
“They’ve already said they’re not going to contain the pandemic,” Obama said, 1010 WINS reported. “Now they want to fire the one person who can actually help them contain the pandemic. So if you think they’ve done a bad job at managing COVID so far, basically what they’re telling you now is you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Biden also weighed in, stating at a Cleveland rally Monday that he has a better idea: “Elect me, and I’m going to hire Dr. Fauci and we’re going to fire Donald Trump.”
As of Tuesday, the United States has roughly 9.3 million coronavirus cases and 232,000 deaths — both tops globally — according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.