During a Monday campaign call, President Donald Trump melted down over Dr. Anthony Fauci, the prominent public health official who has helped handle the U.S. response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Trump complained that “people are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots, these people, these people that have gotten it wrong” — but to suggest that Trump himself has somehow gotten the pandemic right is rather ludicrous on its face. Fauci responded to Trump’s latest complaints during a Monday interview with the southern California AM radio station KNX1070, insisting that he wanted to focus on his public health work — and quoting The Godfather in the process.
On call with campaign staff, President Trump says people are tired of hearing about coronavirus. "People are saying whatever. Just leave us alone. They’re tired of it. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots…Fauci is a nice guy. He’s been here for 500 years."
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) October 19, 2020
Trump, of course, frequently seems decidedly unconcerned with public health work. He frequently seems to prioritize scoring political points over formulating effective national response plans against the Coronavirus and the associated volley of crises that have emerged. Fauci takes a different approach. In response to the president’s complaints, Fauci told the AM radio host:
‘I would prefer not to comment on that and just get on with what we are really trying to do and what we are trying to do is to protect the health and welfare and safety of the American people predominantly, and ultimately, of the world… [Handling the virus outbreak 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. I just want to do my job and take care of the people of this country,’
“People are tired of listening to Fauci and these idiots,” Trump said. When Trump rejects science, downplays the pandemic & relies on right-wing conspiracy theories, we shouldn't be shocked the virus is surging & we have the highest COVID death rate per capita of major countries.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 19, 2020
One might hope that the president of the United States would be on the same page as Fauci. However, Trump has frequently ignored public health guidelines. He has held a slew of packed rallies across the country with little to no public health protection measures in place. Although temperature checks have apparently been performed on rally attendees before entrance, a lack of symptoms doesn’t negate the possibility of symptom-less carriers being present a given event. Publicly, Trump has also derided basic steps like mask-wearing, but his most fervent followers’ antagonism towards masks can help keep the pandemic going because the virus spreads at a faster rate than it would otherwise.
After he spent some time in the hospital after he himself contracted the Coronavirus, Trump issued a video message in which he insisted that Americans should not let the virus “dominate” their lives. Handling the pandemic is not and has never been a matter of personal or political will! It’s a matter of receiving tangible resource support that Trump’s administration has repeatedly failed to provide.