During Donald Trump‘s fifth rally of the day in Opa-locka, Florida on November 1, the president announced that he’ll fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, after the election.
The moment came just after midnight in Opa-locka. The crowd started chanting, “Fire Fauci!” after Trump started to discuss coronavirus. “Covid, covid, covid,” Trump said. “All they want to talk about is covid. And then here’s what happens. November 4 comes and you won’t hear much about it.”
After listening to the crowd shouting to fire Fauci, who was a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force when the pandemic first hit America, Trump says, “Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election.”
While the tension between Fauci Trump has been brewing for months, Trump has never said that he was definitely going to fire him. While federal law prevents Trump from directly firing Fauci since he’s a career civil servant, he could try to order “his political appointees to dismiss the director,” according to CNN analyst Paul LeBlanc.
Max Stier, president and CEO of Partnership for Public Service said, “The President could not fire Fauci without cause. There are civil service protections for career federal employees that prevent them from being removed or demoted for political reasons.”
Fauci Slammed The White House’s Response to COVID-19
“All the stars are aligned in the wrong place,” Fauci said to The Washington Post while discussing coronavirus and the effects of people wanting to gather indoors during the upcoming winter months. Fauci’s interview was published on October 30, the same day America’s death toll from COVID-19 hit 229,000.
“We’re in for a whole lot of hurt. It’s not a good situation,” Fauci said. “You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”
When asked about the once-daily White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting, Fauci said he and Deborah Birx, another key member of the group, no longer have regular access to the president. Fauci also mentioned that hasn’t spoken to Trump since early October.
“The last time I spoke to the president was not about any policy; it was when he was recovering in Walter Reed, he called me up,” he said.
As for Mark Meadows, The White House Chief of Staff, who announced during an interview on CNN on October 25, “We are not going to control the pandemic,” Fauci said, “I tip my hat to him for admitting the strategy. He is straightforward in telling you what’s on his mind. I commend him for that.”
Fauci Slammed Trump’s Campaign Ad Which Manipulated His Words ‘Out of Context’
However, Fauci spoke out on October 11 to slam the new ad for misleading viewers by manipulating his words in the video.
In the video, the ad’s narrator says, “President Trump is recovering from the coronavirus, and so is America. Together we rose to meet the challenge, protecting our seniors, getting them life-saving drugs in record time, sparing no expense.” Then the ad cuts to Fauci saying, “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”
Fauci released the following statement to CNN after becoming aware of the campaign:
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.