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Conservatives mock Fauci on first pitch

Conservative media pundits mocked Anthony FauciAnthony FauciNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Underfunding classics and humanities is dangerous MORE's first pitch after it went well off the mark of reaching home plate on Thursday night.

Fauci, 79, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force and the government's top infectious disease expert, was given the honor of throwing out the first pitch for Major League Baseball's abbreviated season, which began Thursday.

The pitch didn't reach home plate and wasn't thrown in a straight line, either, leading to some mockery of Fauci, who has emerged as a lighting rod on the right.  

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Fauci over the last several weeks has been attacked by other members of the White House. President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE in an interview described Fauci as an "alarmist," but has more recently said that he and the doctor have a strong relationship.

Fauci is widely respected in Congress, including by many Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe bizarre back story of the filibuster The Bible's wisdom about addressing our political tribalism Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (R-Ky.) vouched for him last week, saying he had total confidence in him.

But other conservative Republicans, such as Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), have regularly criticized Fauci.

A recent Quinnipiac poll found a majority of Republicans now distrust Fauci, though a majority of Democrats and a majority overall have faith in him, the survey said. 

It was also announced on Thursday that Trump will throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 15, marking the first time he has thrown out a first pitch since taking office. He will do so without a crowd in the stadium, as fans will not be attending games for the foreseeable future given the coronavirus pandemic.

The Washington Nationals lost to the New York Yankees in Thursday's game. Fauci is a well-known Nationals fan though he rooted for the Yankees growing up.