Trump retweets post calling for Dr. Anthony Fauci to be fired

The president's major issue with the doctor is his consistent assertion that the administration took too long to respond to warnings about COVID-19

Dr. Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, while flanked by President Donald Trump during the daily coronavirus task force briefing in the Brady Briefing room at the White House on March 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump’s frustration with Dr. Anthony Fauci seemed to reach a boiling point Sunday night when the president, indirectly, called for Fauci’s ousting.

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Trump retweeted a post from DeAnna Lorraine, a former Republican congressional candidate, who called for Fauci’s firing after the infectious disease expert told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday that lives could have been saved from COVID-19 had the United States acted sooner.

“Sorry Fake News, it’s all on tape. I banned China long before people spoke up. Thank you @OANN” Trump tweeted, forwarding Lorraine’s post, which read: “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 at large. Time to #Fire Fauci.”

The president was in defensive mode, tweeting out this and several other messages responding to criticism on how he has handled the coronavirus pandemic. Trump pointed to how he “banned China” as an action that helped curb the devastation. He also continued to blame the news media, China, the World Health Organization, former President Barack Obama, some governors, and Democrats for the state the country is in, according to The New York Times.

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SEATTLE, WA – FEBRUARY 29: Healthcare workers transport a patient on a stretcher into an ambulance at Life Care Center of Kirkland. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

The criticism that has Trump’s ire is centered on how his slow action is at least partially to blame for the quickly spreading disease that has now claimed the lives of more than 22,000 people in the United States.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of Trump’s Coronavirus Taskforce, is said to have long frustrated Trump privately, but the president’s retweet brings this frustration to a head publicly.

In the CNN interview, Fauci said early actions would have saved lives.

“I mean, obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives,” Fauci said on CNN. “Obviously, no one is going to deny that. But what goes into those kinds of decisions is complicated. But you’re right. Obviously, if we had, right from the very beginning, shut everything down, it may have been a little bit different. But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down.”

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Now the president is facing advice from Fauci and other public health experts to proceed with caution about reopening the country on May 1. These experts have stated their concerns that the date may be too soon to end social distancing efforts and that this could prompt another wave of COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, Trump’s economic advisers are eager to restart the economy and seem to have that front and center of their thought process.