President Trump continued mocking White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday, just days after the nation’s top expert on infectious diseases slammed the Trump campaign for misleadingly using his words in an ad without permission and out of context.
During a campaign rally in North Carolina on Thursday, Trump nonchalantly quipped that Fauci is a “nice guy” before bringing up an imaginary quote attributed to him on mask-wearing.
“He said, ‘This is not a threat, this is not a problem, don’t worry about it.’ It’s the craziest thing,” Trump said. “Then he said, ‘Do not wear a mask, do not wear a mask under any circumstances. Don’t wear a mask, don’t, don’t, don’t.’ So we don’t wear a mask, and then they say wear a mask. Did you ever see any conflicts?”
The President reiterated that Fauci is a “nice guy” so “we’ll keep him around.” Trump went on to baselessly claim that the White House coronavirus task force member is a Democrat in cahoots with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
“He’s a Democrat, everybody knows that. He is Cuomo’s friend. Cuomo did the worst job of any governor in the United States,” Trump said, which prompted boos from the crowd.
According to a CNN report on Sunday, Fauci denied consenting to being featured in the Trump campaign ad and said that his words in the ad that were spun to praise the President’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis were taken out of context.
Fauci — who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President George W. Bush — also mentioned to CNN that he has never publicly endorsed any political candidate during his nearly five decades of public service.
Trump took a swing at Fauci’s denial of consenting to the ad a day later by throwing in a reference to when Fauci threw out the first pitch at a Washington Nationals game in July, which reportedly irritated Trump at the time.
Actually, Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications. “No problem, no masks”. WHO no longer likes Lockdowns – just came out against. Trump was right. We saved 2,000,000 USA lives!!! https://t.co/YyLyCsbZ7a
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2020
Watch Trump’s remarks below:
Trump cites fake quote on Fauci, but says he's a "nice guy" so "we'll keep him around" pic.twitter.com/3rE3pMz6ox
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) October 15, 2020
Correction: This post incorrectly reported that Fauci had received the Medal of Honor. He received the Medal of Freedom. We regret the error.