At a late Sunday rally in Florida that actually stretched until after midnight, Trump supporters broke into a chant of “Fire Fauci!” — and the president offered support for the sentiment. He suggested that he may fire Fauci — meaning Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health — after the election, insisting that Fauci has been “wrong on a lot.” Is Trump hoping to get observers to believe that he himself has been right on “a lot”? That’s a laughable premise. Over and over again, Trump has made totally baseless proclamations about the pandemic. He’s repeatedly suggested that the Coronavirus could just go away on its own, an idea that there’s never been evidence for — ever. In contrast, Fauci has provided clear-eyed public health guidance to the American people.
Any changes that Fauci has made to his perspective have been based on the facts at hand. Trump doesn’t fundamentally base himself on facts — instead, he delivers empty and frequently fact-free rhetoric. Shifting public health guidance based on a shifting perspective of a rapidly evolving situation is a lot different from the nonsensical drivel that the president pushes on a regular basis.
At the Sunday night Florida rally, Trump said:
‘I say, it drives them crazy — it’s rounding the turn, because all they wanna do, you turn on the news: COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID. We like like to talk about COVID, and then the next story. Here’s what happens November 4th, you won’t hear too much about it. You won’t hear too much about it.’
To be clear: the United States is in no respect “rounding the turn” on the Coronavirus. Records for single-day tallies of new cases have been set in the U.S. just recently, and hospitalizations and deaths have also been growing yet again across the country. In Florida alone — the state where Trump was speaking on late Sunday — over 2,400 people were hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 as of Monday morning.
After his above comments is when the “Fire Fauci!” chant broke out. The idea that Fauci should be fired seems deranged. Some Trump supporters seem to be of the conspiratorial understanding that Fauci is some kind of secret orchestrator for draconian government lock-downs, which is just stunningly nonsensical. At this point, lock-downs, according to any reasonable understanding of the term, aren’t even in effect in states that Trump has singled out for criticism.
Trump let the “Fire Fauci!” chant run its course, and then he said the following:
‘Don’t tell anybody but let me wait until a little bit after the election. I appreciate it. He’s been wrong on a lot — he’s a nice man though. He’s been wrong on a lot.’
Watch the incident below:
Wow — a "Fire Fauci!" chant at the Trump rally
"Let me wait until a little after the election," Trump replies pic.twitter.com/bRHLqzzcRF
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 2, 2020