• A new poll show Americans solidly approve of Dr. Fauci's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to Trump
  • Trump blames his personality, not his policies, for his low approval numbers on dealing with the coronavirus crisis
  • Trump retweets posts questioning Fauci's guidance despite "very good relationship" with the popular doctor

President Donald Trump blames his "personality," not his performance, for his consistently low approval ratings in handling the COVID-19 pandemic compared to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's foremost infectious disease expert.

On Tuesday, Trump addressed his apparent envy at the overwhelming public perception that Fauci is better handling the COVID-19 pandemic. During the White House coronavirus briefing, Trump was asked why Fauci has a higher approval rating on handling the crisis.

“It can only be my personality,” replied Trump, repeating his claim he has "a very good relationship" with Fauci. “... I agree with a lot of what he’s said."

However, Trump continues to call Fauci's credibility into question. On Monday, Trump retweeted several negative posts about Fauci. Last week, Trump accused Fauci of being “a bit of an alarmist” who had made “mistakes” in his COVID-19 guidance. Fauci defended himself against the attacks Tuesday on ABC.

Trump again praised his administration's work on testing, supplying personal protective equipment and producing ventilators. Trump also claimed “for the most part” his administration has followed Fauci's recommendations without receiving proper credit.

"He's got this high approval rating. So why don't I have a high approval rating, and the administration, with respect to the virus?" wondered Trump. "Nobody likes me. It can only be my personality. That's all."

A Morning Consult/Politico poll conducted July 10 -12 found 62% of voters rating Fauci's handling of the coronavirus "excellent" or "good" compared to 36% for Trump.

A national poll from Quinnipiac University published May 20 found 68% of voters approved of Fauci's handling of the pandemic. On the other hand, 56% disapproved of Trump's handling of the pandemic compared to 41% who approved.

Infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci says he doesn't read President Donald Trump's criticisms
Infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci says he doesn't read President Donald Trump's criticisms AFP / MANDEL NGAN