Coronavirus US: Trump says Fauci "alarmist" as Covid-19 cases surge
In an interview with Fox News, Donald Trump said he has a "very good" relationship with Dr Anthony Fauci and denied that the White House is trying to discredit him.
US President Donald Trump has told an interview with Fox News Sunday that he has a "very good relationship" with Dr Anthony Fauci, but said the country’s top infectious disease expert is "a little bit of an alarmist".
"Dr Fauci's made some mistakes, but I have a very good - I spoke to him yesterday at length - I have a very good relationship with Dr Fauci," Trump said. "He's a little bit of an alarmist - that's OK."
Dr Fauci "very concerned", predicts 100,000 cases a day
Amid surging coronavirus figures in the US, Dr Fauci - who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and a member of the White House coronavirus task force - has warned that the country is "not in control" of the pandemic and could see its daily case count reach six figures.
"It’s going to be very disturbing," he told a Senate hearing at the end of June. "I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around, and so I am very concerned."
Nearly 3.8 million coronavirus cases in United States
As of Monday morning ET, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University showed that the coronavirus pandemic has led to just over 3.77 million cases and approximately 140,500 deaths in the US, which has been by far the world’s worst-affected country.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported over 67,500 new infections on Sunday - the fifth day in a row that the States’ daily case count had exceeded 60,000.
No White House attempt to discredit Fauci, Trump claims
Trump told Fox that his administration is not trying to discredit Dr Fauci, despite the White House recently releasing examples of apparently erroneous statements he has made about the pandemic, and telling media outlets that officials were "concerned" about how often "he has been wrong on things". Dr Fauci is also reportedly being blocked from doing TV interviews.
Nonetheless, the president sought to provide interviewer Chris Wallace with a list of errors the expert has made. "Look, Dr. Fauci said 'don't wear a mask'. Dr. Fauci told me not to ban China, it would be a big mistake,” Trump said. "I did it over and above his recommendation. Dr. Fauci, then, said 'you saved tens of thousands of lives.'"
Asked by Wallace whether his own incorrect assertions about the coronavirus crisis served to discredit him, the president said this was not the case. "You know why? Because I've been right probably more than anybody else," he claimed.
"You know, I said, 'It's going to disappear.' I'll say it again," Trump also maintained.
White House campaign against me "bizarre", says Dr Fauci
Speaking to the magazine the Atlantic this week, Dr Fauci branded the White House’s apparent attempts to undermine him as "bizarre", saying: "We’ve got to own this, reset this and say, 'OK, let’s stop this nonsense. We’ve got to do better.'"
Live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic
You can follow live, United States-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic by reading our dedicated US rolling feed.
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