Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, wearing a face mask, listens as President Donald J. Trump participates in a vaccine development event in the Rose Garden at the White House on Friday, May 15, 2020. (Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

'Quite a Closing Message': As Covid-19 Soars, Trump Threatens to Fire Fauci After Election Over

"Trump is telling Americans that he has given up on protecting them from the virus. And that that's what they can expect in a second term."

Julia Conley

President Donald Trump on Sunday night suggested he would fire Dr. Anthony Fauci "a little after the election"—comments that came after the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, one of the nation's most respected public health experts, criticized the administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic in an interview with the Washington Post.

At a late-night rally in Florida, Trump supporters broke into a chant of "Fire Fauci!" after the president complained about news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 230,000 Americans this year and is currently spiking in states including Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Iowa. 

Trump repeated a baseless claim that the U.S. is "rounding the turn" even as healthcare workers in Wisconsin and Texas worked in field hospitals that have been set up to cope with the influx of Covid-19 patients, before saying the press would "like to talk about Covid and then...November 4, you won't hear too much about it."

"Don't tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election," Trump said in response to the chant, leading the audience to erupt in cheers. 

The White House was angered over the weekend by Fauci's interview with the Post, in which the doctor said the U.S. is poorly positioned to confront the pandemic during the winter months, as the president has undermined public health messaging about simple safety precautions people can take to avoid the spread of Covid-19. 

Fauci called for an "abrupt change" in public health practices, such as adherence to social distancing and mask-wearing, in order to mitigate the spread of the virus, and noted that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has been "taking it seriously from a public health perspective" while Trump is focused on reopening the economy regardless of how many people are becoming ill and dying. 

Although the president does not have the authority to dismiss a career civil servant, he signed an executive order last month making it easier for some federal employees to be fired without cause. It's unclear if Fauci's job security could be affected by the order. 

A viral video of the rally garnered stunned responses on social media.

Trump's suggestion that he would fire the nation's top public health expert was "quite a closing message as Covid cases spike across the country," tweeted PBS Newshour reporter Yamiche Alcindor.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Omar Leads Charge Against Baby Formula Monopolies Amid US Shortage

Democrats urge the FTC to probe "any unfair or unsustainable practices, like deceptive marketing, price gouging, and stock buybacks, that may be weakening our nutritional formula supply."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Arbitrary, Racist, and Unfair': Judge Blocks Biden From Ending Title 42

"Only the coyotes profiteering off of people seeking protection have reason to celebrate this ill-reasoned ruling," said one migrant rights advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


'This Is a War' for Democratic Party's Future, Says Sanders of AIPAC's Super PAC

"They are doing everything they can to destroy the progressive movement in this country," said the senator.

Julia Conley ·


Ginni Thomas Pressed Arizona Lawmakers to Reverse Biden's 2020 Win: Report

"Clarence Thomas' continued service on the Supreme Court is a scandalous and appalling breach of judicial ethics," said one observer. "He is implementing the exact same theories that his wife used to try to steal the 2020 election for Trump."

Brett Wilkins ·


Millions More Kids Going Hungry Since GOP, Manchin Killed Expanded Child Tax Credit

"Even brief disruptions in access to food can have lasting consequences," wrote the authors of a new analysis of worsening hunger among U.S. families.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo