Conservatives mock Fauci on first pitch

Conservative media pundits mocked Anthony FauciAnthony FauciTillis appears to reinforce question about COVID-19 death toll Overnight Health Care: Trump signs largely symbolic pre-existing conditions order amid lawsuit | White House puts off action on surprise medical bills | Rising coronavirus cases spark fears of harsh winter NY health officials to review any vaccine approved by Trump 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 John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act 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 McConnellHawley warns Schumer to steer clear of Catholic-based criticisms of Barrett Senate GOP set to vote on Trump's Supreme Court pick before election Harris slams Trump's Supreme Court pick as an attempt to 'destroy the Affordable Care Act' 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.