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Fauci hits back at Navarro: 'He's in a world by himself'

Top infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: FDA says millions of J&J doses from troubled plant must be thrown out | WHO warns Africa falling far behind in vaccinations | Top CDC official says US not ready for next pandemic Top CDC official warns US not ready for next pandemic WHO official: Delta variant 'poised to take hold' in Europe MORE on Wednesday swatted down complaints leveled against him by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, dismissing Navarro as detached from reality.

In an interview with The Atlantic, Fauci addressed a scathing op-ed from Navarro published in USA Today the previous day that accused Fauci of being "wrong about everything I have interacted with him on."

Fauci serves as head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and is a key member of the White House coronavirus task force.

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“I can’t explain Peter Navarro,” Fauci told The Atlantic. “He’s in a world by himself.”

"I stand by everything I said. Contextually, at the time I said it, it was absolutely true," Fauci added when asked about prior comments that Republicans have panned as inaccurate in an attempt to discredit him.

"It’s nonsense. It’s completely wrong. The whole thing is wrong. The whole thing is incorrect," he added of a reported White House memo detailing his supposed inaccuracies.

Fauci's comments come amid deepening conflicts between top political figures in the Trump administration and leading health experts.

The president himself has accused Fauci of making "a lot of mistakes," though pushed back on Navarro's op-ed on Wednesday, saying he "shouldn't be doing that." The president also touted what he called a "good relationship" with Fauci. 

The White House coronavirus task force member has said that he hasn't seen Trump in person in weeks. He has also indicated that he believes his stark warnings about the coronavirus pandemic may be why he hasn't been on television as much recently.

“I have a reputation, as you probably have figured out, of speaking the truth at all times and not sugar-coating things. And that may be one of the reasons why I haven’t been on television very much lately," he said earlier this month.

Other White House officials including Dan Scavino have also targeted Fauci in recent days. On Sunday, Scavino shared a meme on social media referring to the NIAID director as "Dr. Faucet" and portraying Fauci as pouring cold water on the economy with his comments about the virus.