Dr. Anthony Fauci has described recent efforts by the Trump administration to discredit him as “bizarre” and “nonsense”.
In an interview with The Atlantic, the infectious disease expert said: “Ultimately, it hurts the president to do that.”
“It doesn’t do anything but reflect poorly on them.”
On July 12, a White House official shared a list detailing past apparent erroneous comments by Dr. Fauci.
However, on July 14, President Donald Trump insisted he had a “good relationship” with him.
“We’re all in the same team including Dr. Fauci,” the president said.
“We want to get rid of this mess that China sent us, so everybody’s working on the same line and we’re doing very well.”
The White House statement attacking Dr. Fauci criticized him for what it said was conflicting advice on face coverings and remarks on Covid-19’s severity.
Responding to the criticism, the expert told The Atlantic that targeting him was “completely wrong”.
“I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that,” Dr. Fauci said.
“I think they realize now that that was not a prudent thing to do, because it’s only reflecting negatively on them,” he added.
Dr. Fauci was also criticized by Peter Navarro, President Trump’s top trade adviser, in an opinion piece for USA Today in which he said the disease expert had been “wrong about everything I have interacted with him on”.
However, the White House distanced itself from Peter Navarro’s remarks, with communications chief Alyssa Farah tweeting that the article “didn’t go through normal White House clearance processes” and was “the opinion of Peter alone”.
Asked about Peter Navarro’s piece as he departed the White House for Atlanta, President Trump said he should not have written it.
“Well he made a statement representing himself. He shouldn’t be doing that,” the president said.
In his interview with The Atlantic, Dr. Fauci said he was not thinking of resigning over the attacks on him.
“I think the problem is too important for me to get into those kinds of thoughts and discussions. I just want to do my job. I’m really good at it. I think I can contribute. And I’m going to keep doing it,” he said.
Dr. Fauci has also told Reuters that he believes the US will successfully develop a vaccine against the coronavirus by the end of the year.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the US has reported more than 3.4 million cases of coronavirus, and more than 136,000 deaths nationwide.