President Trump won’t fire White House coronavirus task force member Anthony Fauci despite sharing a tweet with the hashtag #FireFauci, a spokesman said on Monday.
White House principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said:
“This media chatter is ridiculous – President Trump is not firing Dr. Fauci,”
“The President’s tweet clearly exposed media attempts to maliciously push a falsehood about his China decision in an attempt to rewrite history,” Gidley said. “It was Democrats and the media who ignored Coronavirus choosing to focus on impeachment instead, and when they finally did comment on the virus it was to attack President Trump for taking the bold decisive action to save American lives by cutting off travel from China and from Europe. Dr. Fauci has been and remains a trusted advisor to President Trump.”
Democrats on Monday urged Trump not to fire Fauci, who has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.
Trump Retweets Fire Fauci Tweet
Trump’s retweet of a supporter’s call to #FireFauci did not directly comment on Fauci and followed a New York Times article that said he was slow to react to the pandemic.
“Sorry Fake News, it’s all on tape. I banned China long before people spoke up,” Trump wrote.
Trump attached that remark in sharing a tweet that said:
“Fauci is now saying that had Trump listened to the medical experts earlier he could’ve saved more lives. Fauci was telling people on February 29th that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the US public at large. Time to #FireFauci…”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2020
According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, Fauci is one of the most widely respected public figures during the crisis, with a 78 percent approval rating, compared to 59 percent for Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and 46 percent for Trump.
Fauci bluntly said the US testing system was “failing” last month and pushed back on Trump’s advocacy of a malaria drug to treat virus symptoms. He said Sunday that an earlier shutdown of the country could have saved lives.