In a Monday morning campaign conference call, President Donald Trump ranted against Dr. Anthony Fauci, who he grouped in with “all these idiots” who keep harping on about the Coronavirus pandemic. To be clear: Fauci and his colleagues who continue to sound alarms about the status of the Coronavirus pandemic in the United States are not making an issue out of thin air. Over 219,000 Americans have died from the Coronavirus, and millions have been infected, with potentially sizable portions of that total left with lasting health complications. Trump sounds willfully ignorant as to these basic realities.
"If there's a reporter on, you can have it just the way I said it, I couldn't care less," Trump says.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) October 19, 2020
According to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, Trump insisted during that Monday call that “people are tired of COVID,” and he added that “people are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots” talk about the subject. Trump called Fauci a “nice guy,” but he derisively suggested that Fauci has “been here for 500 years.” At another point in the call, Trump claimed that if he had taken Fauci’s advice, then the U.S. might already be at half a million or more Coronavirus-connected deaths, but there is — to put it lightly — zero evidence supporting this claim. Trump can’t just rewrite history to make himself tougher on the virus than Dr. Anthony Fauci.
‘Every time [Fauci] goes on television there’s always a bomb, but there’s a bigger bomb if you fire him. This guy’s a disaster.’
Trump: "Fauci is a disaster. If I listened to him, we’d have 500,000 deaths," before later saying it would be 700,000 or 800,000. "If there’s a reporter on, you can have it just the way I said it, I couldn’t care less." (CNN was given access to the call by a source.)
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) October 19, 2020
In public, Trump has frequently derided scientific counsel when it comes to the Coronavirus pandemic. At a rally in Nevada over the weekend, he mockingly said that, if elected, Joe Biden will “listen to the scientists” — as if that’s supposed to sound like a bad thing! Isn’t listening to the scientists exactly what a president of the United States should be doing when the nation is confronted by a deadly pandemic? Instead, Trump has repeatedly seemed like he’s willfully put his ego in the way of formulating an effective national response to the crisis. He has claimed that those who support economic lockdown measures that are meant to stem the virus’s spread are trying to exacerbate the crisis to make him look bad — but that is nonsense.
Trump has repeatedly seemed to found his public pronouncements about the Coronavirus more in wishful thinking than in actual tangible reality.
After repeatedly suggesting that the virus might just disappear on its own, Trump has recently insisted that a vaccine would be available in October or November — but the head of the CDC says that a vaccine might not be widely available until early 2021. When confronted about the discrepancy, Trump said that CDC head Dr. Robert Redfield was mistaken, as if we’re supposed to believe that Donald Trump — who once quipped that he’s “never understood wind” — is more in touch with the facts than the head of the CDC. That notion, of course, is nonsense.
Trump’s job performance clearly has not inspired confidence among a majority of Americans. With mere weeks to go until Election Day, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden repeatedly leads in national-level polls by double-digits.