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Fauci responds to Trump: I'm a 'realist' not an 'alarmist'

Fauci responds to Trump: I'm a 'realist' not an 'alarmist'
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Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci: Whatever COVID-19 vaccine is available, 'take it' Julia Roberts presents Award of Courage to Fauci: 'You have been a beacon for us' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Ahead: One-shot vax, easing restrictions, fiscal help MORE responded to President TrumpDonald TrumpDonald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow McConnell says he'd back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE’s characterization of him as “a little bit of an alarmist” on the coronavirus pandemic, with the nation's top infectious diseases expert saying Monday that he prefers to think of himself as “a realist.”

“I consider myself a realist, as opposed to an alarmist,” Fauci told Maria Shriver in an Instagram Live interview Monday evening.

When asked if he would characterize his position as “dealing with reality,” Fauci responded, “I believe so, but then again, others have different opinions.”

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Fauci also told Shriver that when it comes to the odds of preventing another wave in the fall and winter, the U.S. differed from Europe in that its plateaus were above the “real baseline.”

“That is really the challenge we’re facing today, in July,” Fauci said. “If we want to go into the fall and winter in good shape, we have got to get that down to a real baseline. And a real baseline means tens and hundreds, not tens of thousands.”

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Fauci's remarks came a day after Trump, in an interview with Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceBill Gates: Goal of eliminating emissions by 2030 'completely unrealistic' Fox News's Chris Wallace praises Biden's discipline Klobuchar: Impeachment trial 'was about not hiding history' MORE that aired Sunday, called Fauci “a little bit of an alarmist,” while adding that their relationship remained “very good.”

The president denied in the interview that the White House is engaged in any broader campaign to discredit Fauci, despite a recent op-ed by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro in USA Today attacking Fauci’s credibility. The White House has said the op-ed was unauthorized.

Fauci said last week that Navarro’s op-ed “hurts the president,” telling The Atlantic, “When the staff lets out something like that and the entire scientific and press community push back on it, it ultimately hurts the president.”