KEY POINTS

  • President Trump lashed out at Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday after the nation’s top infectious disease expert criticized the president’s reelection campaign for featuring him in a political advertisement
  • In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump wrote that “Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications”
  • Fauci told CNN in an interview Monday that officials “are not talking about shutting down” when advocating public health measures

President Donald Trump on Tuesday lashed out at Dr. Anthony Fauci after the nation’s top infectious disease expert criticized the president’s reelection campaign for featuring him in a political advertisement.

In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump wrote that “Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications,” referring to Fauci throwing an errant first pitch at Major League Baseball’s Opening Day this season.

“‘No problem, no masks’. WHO no longer likes Lockdowns - just came out against,” Trump added in the tweet. “Trump was right. We saved 2,000,000 USA lives!!!”

Trump’s mention of the World Health Organization appears to reference a statement made last week by Dr. David Nabarro, a COVID-19 special envoy for the WHO. Nabarro urged countries to not use lockdowns as the primary source to control the virus.

Most notably the U.S. implemented lockdown orders earlier this year while Trump declined to issue a nationwide quarantine and left it to state leaders to announce their own restrictions.

Trump did announce a ban on travel from China in January. But his travel restrictions came after the coronavirus had already begun rampaging across China and Italy. Additionally, Trump’s travel ban included exemptions that reportedly allowed nearly 40,000 people to enter the U.S. on direct flights from China, the New York Times reported.

Fauci told CNN in an interview Monday that officials “are not talking about shutting down” when advocating public health measures.

Fauci added that "In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate. The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials."

The anti-politics comments were consistent with a July interview with The Atlantic in which Fauci said that "the problem [of the pandemic] is too important."

"I just want to do my job," Fauci said. "I’m really good at it. I think I can contribute. And I’m going to keep doing it."