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

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Anthony Fauci responded to President Trump’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.”

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.”

Fauci’s remarks came a day after Trump, in an interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace 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.”

Tags Anthony Fauci Chris Wallace Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Pandemic

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