President Donald Trump is taking some of his most overt swipes yet at Dr. Anthony Fauci while campaigning in North Carolina.
Trump is defending his administration’s response to the pandemic, as he generally does at his rallies.
He offered a reminder that Fauci at one point said that people should not wear a mask. The doctor has said that an early recommendation about not wearing a mask was because there was a shortage of personal protective equipment for health professionals at the time. He has since called for universal mask wearing.
Trump called Fauci a nice guy, “so I keep him around.”
But he also described Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, as a Democrat. “Everybody knows that. He’s Cuomo’s friend,” Trump says, a reference to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Fauci has been studiously apolitical over a five-decade career in public health. The doctor has expressed dismay that the president used his comments in a campaign ad and says his comments were taken out of comments.