As the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 tops 220,000 — by far the highest in the world — President Trump has escalated his attack on the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci. During a campaign phone call, Trump described Fauci as an idiot.
President Donald Trump: “People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots, these people, these people that have gotten it wrong. Fauci’s a nice guy. He’s been here for 500 years. He’s a disaster.”
Dr. Fauci responded by saying he just wants to focus on combating the virus, saying, “That’s the only thing I really care about. That other stuff, it’s like in 'The Godfather': Nothing personal, strictly business as far as I’m concerned. I just want to do my job and take care of the people of this country.”
While Trump is attacking Fauci, his campaign continues to run an ad that uses Fauci’s words out of context, falsely giving the impression that he endorses the president’s handling of the pandemic.
This comes as COVID-19 cases are surging again across the country. On Monday, nearly 60,000 people in the United States tested positive, and 445 people died.
In Kansas, a coronavirus outbreak in a nursing home has killed 10 people and infected all residents and an unspecified number of staff.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday warned in a tweet, “If COVID-19 continues to exponentially spread like last week, New Mexico will not have the health care and hospital capacity for every New Mexican who needs care.”
Meanwhile, in California, Governor Gavin Newsom has announced the state will conduct its own review of any COVID-19 vaccine before it is distributed in California.
On Capitol Hill, Senate Republicans are planning to move forward a measure on the Paycheck Protection Program today before a larger vote Wednesday on a $500 billion bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are still in talks over a larger coronavirus relief package. Democrats are pushing for a $2.2 trillion aid bill.