President Donald Trump has taken some of his most overt swipes yet at Dr Anthony Fauci while campaigning in North Carolina.
President Trump is defending his administration’s response to the pandemic, as he generally does at his rallies.
He offered a reminder that Dr Fauci at one point said that people should not wear a mask.
The doctor has said that an early recommendation about not wearing a mask was because there was a shortage of personal protective equipment for health professionals at the time.
He has since called for universal mask wearing.
President Trump called Dr Fauci a nice guy, “so I keep him around”.
But he also described Dr Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, as a Democrat.
“Everybody knows that. He’s Cuomo’s friend,” President Trump said, a reference to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Dr Fauci has been studiously apolitical over a five-decade career in public health.
The doctor has expressed dismay that the president used his comments in a campaign advert and says his comments were taken out of comments.