US President Donald Trump has retweeted a call to fire Dr Anthony Fauci after the nation’s top expert on infectious diseases said lives could have been saved if the country had shut down sooner during the coronavirus outbreak.
Trump retweeted a message from a former Republican congressional candidate who cited Fauci’s comments during a television interview on Sunday and tweeted ‘time to #FireFauci.’
Trump has repeated critical tweets of officials or enemies rather than make the criticism himself.
The retweet fuelled speculation that the president was running out of patience with the popular scientist and could conceivably fire him.
Fauci has assumed national prominence as a leader in the fight against the coronavirus.
He has contradicted or corrected Trump on scientific matters during the crisis, including whether the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine is effective against it.
Fauci was yesterday asked in a CNN interview about a newspaper report documenting early warnings issued to the White House about the coronavirus.
The scientist acknowledged shutting the country down sooner could have saved lives, but cautioned that a number of factors were involved.
“Obviously, it would have been nice if we had a better head start, but I don’t think you could say that we are where we are right now because of one factor.”
Fauci said. “It’s very complicated.”