President Donald Trump said that White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci would prefer the country “closed up for a couple of years” in order to fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a wide-ranging Friday interview with Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, Trump expressed his liking for Fauci but also contended that the two “don’t always agree on everything.”
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) July 24, 2020
“He’s actually a very nice guy,” Trump told Portnoy after a discussion about Fauci’s athletic ability. “We don’t always agree on everything. He’d like to do things that I don’t like to do, but ultimately I make the decision … he’s a nice man, actually.”
“Fauci’s on m X list because every time he talks and says the country should stay inside, my stocks tank, so I don’t like that aspect of it,” said Portnoy.
“Well, he’d like to see it closed up for a couple of years,” Trump said. “But that’s okay because I’m president. So I’ll say, ‘Well, I appreciate your opinion, now give me another opinion, somebody please.'”
“Overruled,” Portnoy joked.
“Yeah, well you have to,” said the president. “And you know we’re open and we’re doing well and I just had a press conference about opening the schools … We have a lot of people that would like to see their states closed. I have a feeling on November 4th they’ll open them up. I think they want to do it for political reasons.” (RELATED: ‘More Off Base Than Your Average Epidemiologist’: Tucker Cites Dr. Fauci’s ‘Buffoon Level’ Mistakes, Questions ‘Powerful’ Role)
Fauci said he didn’t “think we’re going to be talking about going back to lockdown” when several states experienced a surge in cases after they began to reopen in June, telling AFP that “trying to better control those areas of the country that seem to be having a surge of cases” would be the best approach. A month later as cases spiked, the doctor suggested pressing a “reset” button and approaching things “in a more measured way.”
“If those states pause and say, ‘Okay, we’re going to do it right — everyone wear a mask, bars closed, no congregating in crowds, keep your distance, protect the vulnerable,’ for a few weeks in a row, I’ll guarantee you those numbers will come down,” Fauci told The Atlantic, according to NBC News.
While some administration members, including White House trade advisor Peter Navarro, have been openly critical of Fauci, Trump has so far continued to publicly support the coronavirus task force member. He did call Fauci an “alarmist” during an interview with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, to which the doctor responded by calling himself a “realist.”