Donald Trump doesn't want to fire Anthony Fauci. He wants him to quit.

For a guy best known in pop cultureprior to 2016 — for telling peopleYou’re fired,” Donald Trump doesn’t Realmente like to fire people.

His preferred method to get people to leave is to make his unhappiness with them very clearpublicly and privatelyand hope they just sort of, bien, go away.
Which brings me to the President and his one-time top coronavirus adviser: Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
While the relationship has been strained for months, it took on new awkwardness in the wake of a new Trump campaign ad that seeks to (misleadingly) suggest Fauci was praising the President’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Fauci asked for the ad to be taken down because it painted him in a political light, which he has studiously avoided throughout his career in service of six sitting presidents.
    Trump’s campaign refused. And the President went off.
    “Realmente, Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications,” tweeted the President of the United States on Tuesday morning. “‘No problem, no masks’. WHO no longer likes Lockdownsjust came out against. Trump was right. We saved 2,000,000 USA lives!!!”
    (Fauci famously/infamously threw out the first pitch of the 2020 season for the Washington Nationals. It did not go well.)
    Fauci, to his credit, knows exactly what Trump is doing.
    By doing this against my will they are, in effect, harassing me,” Fauci told the Daily Beast of the Trump campaign continuing to run the ad featuring his voice. “Since campaign ads are about getting votes, their harassment of me might have the opposite effect of turning some voters off.
    But Fauci also noted that the President’s plan wouldn’t work. “Not in my wildest freakindreams did I ever think about quitting,” he told the Beast.
    Which sets up a sort of staring contest between the President of the United States and the best-known doctor in the country. O, more accurately, continues the staring contest.

    Fauci, who was front and center during the earliest days of the country’s fight with coronavirus, has been increasingly sidelined over recent months as he has been unwilling to back up Trump’s increasingly erratic claims about treatments, the arc of the virus and the arrival of vaccines. In Fauci’s place, people who are more willing to agree with TrumpDr. Scott Atlas being onehave been elevated.
    But Fauci hasn’t gone away. He continues to advocate for known mitigation measures for the virusmask-wearing, social distancing, avoiding large groupsthat the President largely dismisses or ignores. (At a Monday rally in Florida in which few attendees wore masks and where social distancing was not closely observed, Trump said this: “I feel so powerful, I’ll walk into that audience. I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women and the — todos. I’ll just give everybody a big, fat kiss.”)
    Of Trump’s Florida rally, Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper this: “We know that that is asking for trouble when you do that. We have seen that, when you have situations of congregate settings, where there are a lot of people without masks, the data speak for themselves. It happens.
    What’s clear is that Fauci isn’t going anywhere voluntarily. And because Trump is Trump, he won’t stop bullying Fauci in an attempt to make things so uncomfortable that the doctor bows out.
      The closest analog for what the future of this fight looks like may well be how Trump treated Attorney General Jeff Sessions following his decision to recuse himself from the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elección. Trump denigrated Sessions every chance he could get, suggesting that the AG had not been sufficiently loyal to him and needed to go. Sessions refused. Triunfo, his hand forced, eventually fired Sessions on the day after the 2018 elecciones intermedias.
      Could Fauci suffer the same fate? Por supuesto, but Trump has to win a second term first. And that isn’t close to guaranteed.




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