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

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

Anthony FauciAnthony Fauci'Highest priority' is to vaccinate the unvaccinated, Fauci says Sunday shows - Boosters in the spotlight Fauci: Data for Moderna, Johnson & Johnson booster shots 'a few weeks' out MORE responded to President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims 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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Fauci's remarks came a day after Trump, in an interview with Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceYarmuth and Clyburn suggest .5T package may be slimmed Budget chairman: Debt ceiling fight 'a ridiculous position to be in' NIH director expects booster shots to be expanded, despite recommendation 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.”