by Daniel Chaitin, Breaking News Editor | | November 02, 2020 12:35 AM
President Trump suggested in Miami on Sunday that he might fire infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci after the election.
Chants of “fire Fauci” broke out about 25 minutes into Trump’s fifth campaign rally of the day. In response, Trump indicated he was open to the idea.
“Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait till a little after the election,” he said. “I appreciate the advice.”
Technically federal civil service regulations prevent a president from directly firing Fauci, but someone higher up his chain of command does have that ability, including the secretary of the Health and Human Services Department.
Trump followed up by saying Fauci is a “nice man” before noting that the health expert was “wrong” to say early in the coronavirus pandemic that most Americans don’t need to wear masks and to oppose restricting travel from China where the outbreak originated, a claim which is at odds with Fauci’s public comments.
Fauci has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984 and is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. At times, he and Trump have been at odds during the pandemic.
In a recent interview, Fauci told the Washington Post that the United States is in for “a whole lot of hurt,” warning of a surge in COVID-19 cases while Trump has asserted the country is “rounding the turn.” He also said former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, is taking the coronavirus “seriously from a public health perspective.”
By contrast, Trump is “looking at it from a different perspective,” Fauci said, noting that the president’s focus was “the economy and reopening the country.”
Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said Fauci’s comments were “unacceptable” and accused him of choosing “days before an election to play politics.”
More than 9.2 million coronavirus cases have been recorded in the U.S., and more than 230,000 Americans who have gotten COVID-19 have died, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. In both areas, the U.S. leads all other countries. And following a dip in the second half of summer, the number of new cases has been on the rise again since the beginning of September.
In terms of responding to the pandemic, Trump and the White House have placed much of their focus on finding a vaccine that can be distributed by the end of the year. (Click to Source)
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