President Donald Trump said Anthony Fauci is a "little bit of an alarmist" in an interview on "Fox News Sunday." President Trump added that he also has a "very good relationship" with Fauci, one of the lead members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
In a lengthy interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace recorded on Friday and released on Sunday, Trump gave his opinions on Fauci and the job he has done responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Dr. Fauci's made some mistakes," Trump said of the nation's top infectious-disease expert. "But I have a very good — I spoke to him yesterday at length. I have a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci."
Previously, Trump hadn't spoken to Fauci since early June.
"Dr. Fauci at the beginning said, 'This will pass. Don't worry about it. This will pass.' He was wrong," Trump told Wallace. "Dr. Fauci said, 'Don't ban China. Don't ban China.' I did. He then admitted that I was right."
Trump added that one of Fauci's mistakes was his original stance that wearing of masks wasn't necessary. In the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., Fauci informed the public that they shouldn't purchase face masks.
In mid-June, Fauci explained why he told Americans they didn't need face masks in an interview with TheStreet.
"Well, the reason for that is that we were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply," Fauci said last month. "And we wanted to make sure that the people namely, the health care workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in a harm way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected."
Last week, Fauci urged governors and mayors "to be as forceful as possible in getting your citizenry to wear masks."
Trump said the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is "a little bit of an alarmist — that's OK."
Wallace asked President Trump if he takes responsibility for his role in the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Look I take responsibility always for everything because it's ultimately my job too, I have to get everybody in line," Trump responded. "Some governors have done well, some governors have done poorly. They're supposed to have supplies they didn't have, I supplied everybody."
Last week, a White House memo leaked that attempted to discredit Fauci, and the coronavirus task force member was referred to as "Dr. Gloom and Doom."
Fauci gave an interview to The Atlantic, where he said that attacks by members of Trump's administration to discredit him are "bizarre."
"I think if you sit down and talk to the people who are involved in that list that came out, they are really, I think, taken aback by what a big mistake that was," Fauci said. "I think if you talk to reasonable people in the White House, they realize that was a major mistake on their part, because it doesn't do anything but reflect poorly on them. And I don't think that that was their intention. I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that. I think they realize now that that was not a prudent thing to do, because it's only reflecting negatively on them."