Donald Trump is finally making some sense after stating at a coronavirus briefing on Tuesday: “Nobody likes me!”
When asked about the absence of Dr Anthony Fauci, America's top infectious disease expert, Trump responded:
[Fauci has] got a very good approval rating. I like that, it's good. Because remember, he's working for this administration. He's working with us.
And Trump’s not wrong.
In a Quinnipiac University poll released on 15 July, 65 per cent of respondents said that they trust the information Fauci provides about coronavirus, while only 30 per cent trust Trump's.
The POTUS added:
He's working with our administration and for the most part, we've done pretty much what he and Dr. Birx and others, who are terrific, recommended.
And he's got this high approval rating. So why don't I have a high approval rating with respect — and the administration, with respect to the virus? We should have a very high — because what we have done in terms of — we're just reading off about the masks and the gowns and the ventilators and numbers that nobody's seen.
Then came Trump’s lightbulb moment:
So it sort of is curious. A man works for us, with us, very closely, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx, very highly thought of. And yet they're highly thought of, but nobody likes me. It can only be my personality, that’s all.
During the same meeting, Trump was asked about his retweets on Twitter – one of which claimed Fauci had “misled the American public on many issues” – including when it comes to the drug hydroxychloroquine.
Time and time again, Trump has endorsed the drug to fight against coronavirus, despite the FDA warning that there are "known risks associated with both hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine”.
They also found the drugs "have not been shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing" the virus.
In response to Trump’s retweet claiming Fauci had “misled the public on many issues”, Fauci responded:
I have not been misleading the American public under any circumstances.
Rising above the drama of it all, Fauci added:
I don't tweet, I don't even read them. So I don't really want to go there. I just will continue to do my job no matter what comes out, because I think it's very important.
Trump has been accused of trying to undermine Fauci, including sharing a tweet in April calling for him to be fired.
The White House also denied Trump tried to undermine the coronavirus expert by sending 'opposition research' to reporters.
At the time of writing, over 151,000 people have died in the US from coronavirus.