President Trump on Tuesday briefly veered off course during the White House’s latest coronavirus briefing to ponder why Dr. Anthony Fauci enjoys such popularity and yet it somehow does not extend to the president himself. Asked about reports he claimed Fauci had misled the public with his assessments of hydroxychloroquine, Trump said he actually has a “very good relationship” with Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the face of the administration’s COVID-19 response, who he noted has “a very good approval rating and I like that.”
“Because, remember, he’s working for this administration,” Trump said. “We could have gotten other people. We could have gotten somebody else. It didn’t have to be Dr. Fauci.” He went on to praise his administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic before returning to Fauci’s popularity. “And he’s got this high approval rating. So why don’t I have a high approval rating with respect, and the administration with respect to the virus? So it sort of is curious a man works for us with us very closely, Dr. Fauci, and Dr. Birx also highly thought of, and yet they’re highly thought of but nobody likes me. It can only be my personality,” he said.