Trump knocks Fauci: 'I inherited him'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE on Monday questioned the value of Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: CDC reverses controversial testing guidance | Billions more could be needed for vaccine distribution | Study examines danger of in-flight COVID-19 transmission Trump claims enough COVID-19 vaccines will be ready for every American by April Gates says travel ban made COVID-19 worse in US MORE to the White House coronavirus task force, saying in an interview with Fox News that he "inherited" the government's top infectious disease expert.

"I disagree with a lot of what he said," Trump told Laura Ingraham when asked if he would put Fauci "front and center" in the pandemic response if he could do it again.

"I get along with him, but every once in a while, he'll come up with one that I say, 'Where did that come from?'" Trump continued. "I inherited him. He was here. He was part of this huge piece of machine."


The president reiterated his claim that Fauci opposed his decision to restrict travel from China in January. Fauci indicated at the time he did not think it was a good idea, though he later said it had bought the U.S. time to fight the virus.

Trump has repeatedly undermined and criticized Fauci. Last month, he retweeted a message that said Fauci "has misled the American public on many issues, but in particular, on dismissing #hydroxychloroquine and calling Remdesivir the new gold standard." He also has said Fauci is a nice man but has "made a lot of mistakes."

Other White House officials, such as trade adviser Peter Navarro, have openly attacked Fauci in public.

Fauci has been among the most visible members of the White House coronavirus task force, giving frequent media interviews. However, he has largely been cut out of recent public White House events around the pandemic, as has Deborah BirxDeborah BirxControversial CDC guidelines were written by HHS officials, not scientists: report Trump coronavirus adviser threatens to sue Stanford researchers Trump disputes CDC director on vaccine timing, says 'he made a mistake' MORE, the coordinator of the administration's coronavirus response.

The pandemic has infected more than 6 million people in the U.S., by far the most reported cases of any country in the world. COVID-19 has killed more than 180,000 people in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University.