President Donald Trump tried Wednesday at the White House to defuse a conflict between White House staff and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“We’re all on the same team, including Dr. Fauci,” Trump said. “I have a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci and we’re all on the same team. We want to get rid of this mess that China sent us.”
Trump commented to reporters as he left the White House for an event on infrastructure in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday.
On Tuesday evening, Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, criticized Fauci’s mistakes in handling the coronavirus in an op-ed.
“So when you ask me whether I listen to Dr. Fauci’s advice, my answer is: only with skepticism and caution,” Navarro concluded after detailing a list of his concerns with Fauci in an op-ed titled, “Anthony Fauci Has Been Wrong About Everything I Have Interacted with Him On” in USA Today.
Trump lightly chided Navarro for voicing his criticism of Fauci in a public op-ed.
“Well he made a statement representing himself,” Trump replied when asked by reporters if Navarro was “going rogue.” “He shouldn’t be doing that. No, I have a very good relationship with Anthony.”
President Trump has lightly increased his criticism of Fauci in recent days, despite repeating he has a good relationship with the doctor.
“Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes,” Trump said in an interview with Sean Hannity on Friday.
On Monday, Trump told reporters that, although he had a “very good relationship” with Dr. Fauci, “I don’t always agree with him.”