Top White House aide shares cartoon mocking Fauci

Top White House aide Dan Scavino publicly mocked Anthony FauciAnthony FauciTo preserve our democratic freedoms, let's cultivate service-minded, thoughtful citizens Russia says coronavirus vaccine will be ready for doctors in two weeks Fauci: 'I seriously doubt' Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective MORE late Sunday, sharing a cartoon of the top U.S. infectious disease expert depicted as a faucet on social media.

Scavino, White House social media director and deputy chief of staff for communications, posted the cartoon with phrases like “schools stay closed this fall,” “indefinite lockdown,” and “no NFL season” spewing from the faucet.

In a message accompanying the cartoon, Scavino promised to “publicly” disagree with Fauci while suggesting the top public health official had voiced disagreement “cowardly” through leaks to the media.

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“Sorry, Dr. Faucet! At least you know if I’m going to disagree with a colleague, such as yourself, it’s done publicly – and not cowardly, behind journalists with leaks,” Scavino wrote. “See you tomorrow!”

The cartoon shared by Scavino is signed by conservative political cartoonist Ben Garrison. Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulWatchdog calls for probe into Gohmert 'disregarding public health guidance' on COVID-19 Massie plans to donate plasma after testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies After trillions in tax cuts for the rich, Republicans refuse to help struggling Americans MORE (R-Ky.), a vocal critic of Fauci who has confronted him at Senate hearings on the coronavirus, is also depicted on the side of the faucet, yelling, “shut him off!”

Scavino’s striking public criticism of Fauci, who has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for more than three decades, comes amid other signs of a break between the top health expert and the president as well as some of his advisers.

Fauci, who has throughout the coronavirus pandemic offered unvarnished warnings and advice about COVID-19, has found himself increasingly at odds with those trying to project an optimistic view of the path forward and downplay recent surges in cases across the country.

Fauci has urged states that have seen significant spikes in cases to pause their reopening efforts, a message conflicting with those from President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE and others who have pushed for businesses to restart operations so that the economy can recover.

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Fauci said in an interview with the Financial Times last week that he hadn’t briefed Trump in two months, while The Washington Post reported that the White House had interfered with some of his planned television appearances and kept him from the Oval Office.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday insisted that Fauci’s advice is being heard by Trump, while describing his view as only “one viewpoint” among many considered by the president when making decisions.

“The point of the task force is to be a whole of government look at what is best for this country,” McEnany said in an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning. “Dr. Fauci is one member of a team, but rest assured, his viewpoint is represented and the information gets to the president through the task force.”