President Donald Trump addressed the role of Dr Anthony Fauci as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic and why he didn’t fire him.
Trump responded to criticism about why he didn’t fire Fauci during his tenure.
“First of all, you’re not allowed,” Trump said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show when asked why he didn’t dismiss Fauci.
Hewitt labeled this as the “biggest knock” on Trump’s presidency.
“No, no, no, Dr. Fauci was there. First of all, he’s civil service, and you’re not allowed to fire him,” Trump said.
“But forget that because I don’t necessarily go by everything… but Dr. Fauci would tell me things, and I wouldn’t do them in many cases,” he added.
“But also, he wasn’t a big player in my administration. Dr. Fauci became a big player in the administration of Biden. He’s a very big player in Biden’s administration,” Trump contied.
Trump’s critique of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was evident when he highlighted his approach to the coronavirus pandemic and previewed his potential debate strategy.
“It’s so easy to respond,” Trump said. “
He said he wouldn’t let anybody come in. He shut down his beaches. He shut down the entire state. He tries … he has a selective memory,” he added.
“He shut down. [Gov.] Henry McMaster didn’t shut down South Carolina. [Gov.] Kristi Noem didn’t shut down South Dakota.” Trump further elaborated.
“He shut down Florida. It was tight as a drum. He had vax lines. He was vaxxing everything. Now, he talks about the vaccinations this and that.”
The 45th President also emphasized that DeSantis was “not in the category” of conservative governors who managed the pandemic.
“By the way, just so you know it sounds very negative, third-most in deaths from COVID? Unfortunately, Florida,” Trump said.
“Florida was third-worst in deaths … that’s a horrible, that’s a horrible statistic. But that’s a statistic that sort of counts. Ron was the third-worst in terms of actual death from COVID. Ron is No. 3.”
The DeSantis campaign responded by stating that Florida had fully reopened in early May 2020 after implementing COVID restrictions in April.
The Trump campaign spokesperson, Steven Cheung, responded by pointing out DeSantis’s decisions during the pandemic.
“Lockdown Ron should look in the mirror and answer for closing down Florida businesses that didn’t practice social distancing while fighting to keep abortion clinics open,” Cheung said.
He also highlighted DeSantis’s refusal to dismiss Florida’s version of Fauci, Palm Beach County Health Director Alina Alonso.