President Trump on Monday questioned the value of Anthony Fauci 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 Birx, 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.

Tags Anthony Fauci Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic Deborah Birx Donald Trump Laura Ingraham Peter Navarro White House coronavirus task force

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