As experts voice concern over a surge in COVID-19 cases this fall, President Trump is labeling Dr. Anthony Fauci an idiot and claiming Americans "are tired of hearing" from him.
During a campaign call that journalists were invited to listen into on Monday, Trump attacked Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and member of the White House's coronavirus task force.
"People are tired of COVID," Trump said, The New York Times reports. "People are tired of hearing Fauci and these idiots, all these idiots who got it wrong. ... Every time he goes on television, there's always a bomb, but there's a bigger bomb if you fire him. This guy's a disaster."
Trump also claimed that Americans want to be left "alone" and are "tired" of COVID-19, days after the U.S. reported the highest number of daily coronavirus cases since July.
"I have the biggest rallies I've ever had," Trump said on the call, NBC News reports. "And we have COVID. People are saying: whatever. Just leave us alone. They're tired of it."
Trump's comments come after Fauci appeared on 60 Minutes and said he's "absolutely not" surprised that the president recently contracted COVID-19 after taking part in a "superspreader event." Fauci reiterated in that interview that there have been "real and credible threats to my life and my safety" and that his wife and children have been subjected to harassment.