US President Donald Trump retweeted a post calling for the firing of the government's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, after the doctor publicly admitted that an early response to the coronavirus outbreak could have saved lives.
Trump retweets post calling for Dr. Fauci's sacking
Trump publicly conveyed his frustration with Dr. Fauci, who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, on Sunday, by retweeting a tweet calling for the ousting of the expert, who is a key member of the White House's coronavirus task force.
The original tweet was posted by DeAnna Lorraine, a former Republican congressional candidate, included the hashtag #FireFauci and referred to Fauci's acknowledgment that more lives could have been saved had the US acted sooner to contain the spread of the virus.
"Fauci is now saying that had Trump listened to the medical experts earlier he could've saved more lives," read the tweet by Lorraine. "Fauci was telling people on February 29th that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the US at large. Time to #Fire Fauci."
"Sorry Fake News, it's all on tape," Trump wrote alongside the retweeted post, noting that he imposed travel restrictions on China "long before people spoke up."
Fauci admits Trump could've saved more lives
Trump's tweet is one of many blasted out by the president defending his handling of the coronavirus crisis, which has come under sharp criticism.
Hours before Trump's retweet, Fauci made an appearance on CNN's State of the Union to discuss the measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19, saying that it was clear more lives could've been saved had the government acted quicker in trying to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Although Fauci did not mention Trump by name, it was the president who took the brunt of criticism for the failure to act sooner in instituting social distancing guidelines and for not making proper arrangements for sufficient medical equipment and supplies.
"Obviously you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives," Fauci said. "Obviously, no one is going to deny that. But what goes into those kinds of decisions is complicated."