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Obama rips Trump over suggestion that he may fire Fauci

Former President Obama hammered President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Poll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report MORE on Monday for suggesting that he may fire Anthony Fauci after Election Day, saying that Trump’s “second-term plan” is to oust “the one person who can actually help them contain” the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a rally in Atlanta on behalf of Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenObama: Ensuring democracy 'continues to work effectively' keeps me 'up at night' New Jersey landlords prohibited from asking potential tenants about criminal records Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE and Democratic Senate candidates in Georgia, Obama expressed incredulity at Trump’s suggestion on Sunday that he may try to have Fauci removed from his post at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases following the 2020 general election. 

“One of the few people in this administration who’s been taking this seriously all along and what’d he say? His second-term plan is to fire that guy,” Obama said.

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“They’ve already said they’re not going to contain the pandemic. Now they want to fire the one person who can actually help them contain the pandemic,” he continued. “So Georgia, if you think they’ve done a bad job at managing COVID so far, basically what they’re telling you now is you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Obama’s remarks came after Trump further escalated his criticism of the government’s top infectious disease expert at a rally in Florida late Sunday. When the crowd broke out into chants of “fire Fauci,” Trump suggested he may attempt to do so “a little bit after the election.”

“I appreciate the advice. I appreciate the advice. No, he's been wrong though a lot. He's a nice man though. He's been wrong on a lot,” Trump said. 

It’s unclear how serious Trump was in his suggestion that he try to have Fauci fired after the election. Fauci has drawn widespread public praise for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and any attempt to oust him would almost certainly prompt swift public backlash and intense criticism from Democrats.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Cleveland earlier on Monday, Biden said that if he wins the presidency on Tuesday, there will be a role for Fauci in his administration.

“Last night, Trump said he was going to fire Dr. Fauci. Isn’t that wonderful?” Biden said during a drive-in rally. “I’ve got a better idea. Elect me, and I’m going to hire Dr. Fauci and we’re going to fire Donald Trump.”