President Trump said Tuesday he’s got no beef with Dr. Anthony Fauci — a day after ripping the nation’s top infectious diseases expert as a “disaster” over his handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
“I’m not at odds [with him],” the president said on a call to “Fox and Friends.” “I like him, he’s a terrific guy.”
Trump lashed out at Fauci after the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told “60 Minutes” that he was “absolutely not” surprised that the commander-in-chief caught coronavirus following a Sept. 26 event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
“Every time he goes on television there’s always a bomb, but there’s a bigger bomb if you fire him. Fauci’s a disaster. If I’d listened to him, we’d have 500,000 deaths,” Trump said Monday in a call to campaign staffers.
Fauci responded to Trump’s attack by quoting “The Godfather.”
“[Addressing the virus is] the only thing I really care about. That other stuff, it’s like in ‘The Godfather’: Nothing personal, strictly business as far as I’m concerned,” Fauci said.
On Fox News, Trump called Fauci a “nice guy” — but again knocked the doctor for being “wrong” about some of his handling of the pandemic early on.
“He said don’t wear a mask, he said many things. He said let the people from China that are heavily infected, let them come in,” Trump said. “He admits he was wrong about that. He admits that I saved thousands of lives.”
“He’s a little bit sometimes not a team player,” the president added.