Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the White House’s leading health responders to COVID-19, expressed unhappiness with being portrayed as an enemy of President Donald Trump on Friday.
During an interview with the Washington Post, the doctor would not say if he believed voting by mail was less risky than voting in-person, which Trump has vehemently advocated for in his attacks against mail-in voting.
Fauci said his opinion on the matter “almost certainly is going to be used as a soundbite.”
“It’s a sport now in Washington to pit me against the President and I don’t really want to do that,” the health official said. “But someone will take a quote and bingo, it’ll be me against the President and I don’t want to do that.”
However, Fauci did not reject the idea of voters going to the polling sites on Election Day.
“I don’t see any reason why, if people maintain that type of physical distancing, wearing a mask and washing hands, why you cannot, at least where I vote, go to a place and vote,” he told the Post.
Fauci has become a political target for Trump’s allies who are inflamed by the doctor’s sobering remarks about COVID-19, which have undercut the President’s rosy framing of the pandemic as he seeks to absolve himself of any blame for his own poor handling of the crisis.
The backlash against Fauci has led him to acquire additional security detail due to threats against him and his family.