President Donald Trump maintains he has a “very good relationship” with infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, even though he views him as a "little bit of an alarmist."
“Dr. Fauci's made some mistakes,” the president in an interview on "Fox News Sunday." “He's a little bit of an alarmist. That's OK. A little bit of an alarmist.”
During the sometimes contentious interview, taped Friday at the White House, Trump ticked off a few instances in which he believed the doctor had made some errors.
“Look, Dr. Fauci said 'don't wear a mask'. Dr. Fauci told me not to ban China, it would be a big mistake. I did it over and above his recommendation,” Trump said. “Dr. Fauci, then, said 'you saved tens of thousands of lives.'”
Despite his skepticism, the president said the two maintain a healthy relationship. “I spoke to him yesterday at length. I have a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci,” Trump said.
Trump insisted his administration hasn't been involved in a campaign to discredit Fauci. The White House, however, has targeted him, distributing a list of statements he made early on during the pandemic and telling news outlets that officials were “concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things."
The president has also repeatedly amplified anti-Fauci voices on Twitter, and his aides have followed suit. In one instance, Trump’s social media adviser, Dan Scavino, shared an image on Facebook depicting Fauci as a leaky faucet drowning Uncle Sam.
Still, the president acknowledged that no one could be right all the time.
“I guess everybody makes mistakes,” he responded when asked about his own statements downplaying the severity of the pandemic.