Fauci was asked about Trump’s criticism of him where the president called him a “disaster.”
The nation’s top infectious disease expert responded during Monday’s interview on Southern California AM radio station KNX1070, “I would prefer not to comment on that and to just get on with what we are really trying to do and what we are trying to do is to protect the health and welfare and the safety of the American people predominantly, and ultimately, of the world.”
He continued, “We are seeing an uptick in cases — higher than they’ve ever been. Many, many states that had been doing reasonably well are now showing upticks, that’s what we should be concentrating on.”
After calling “all of that other stuff” a “distraction,” Fauci later added, “I don’t want to get involved in that me against the president.”
He continued, saying the health and safety of the American people is “the only thing I really care about.”
“That other stuff, it’s like in ‘The Godfather’: Nothing personal, strictly business as far as I’m concerned. I just want to do my job and take care of the people of this country.”
Listen to Fauci’s remarks (starting at 1:40):
Trump reportedly blasted Fauci during a call with campaign staffers on Monday, as IJR reported.
“People are tired of Covid. People are saying, ‘Whatever, just leave us alone.’ People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” Trump said, according to reports.
Fox News broadcast audio of Trump calling Fauci a “disaster” during a campaign call earlier today pic.twitter.com/aYaNzDr9uv— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 19, 2020
The president also reportedly said, “He’s been here for, like, 500 years. He’s like this wonderful sage telling us how — Fauci, if we listened to him, we’d have 700,000 [or] 800,000 deaths.”
In Arizona that same day Trump also said when asked if he would consider firing Fauci, “I don’t want to hurt him. He’s been there for about 350 years, I don’t want to hurt him.”
Fauci has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.