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The Biden campaign issued a statement on Monday slamming President Trump for reportedly seeking to discredit Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage in the U.S.
The state of play: Over the weekend, a number of media outlets received a statement from an unnamed White House official that listed the times Fauci was "wrong on things" in the pandemic's early days.
- But as the Washington Post's Aaron Blake points out, many of the quotes the official cited omitted Fauci's caveats and ignored the fact that Trump himself had parroted some of the same talking points.
- On Monday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany denied that the White House released "opposition research" on Fauci and claimed that he and Trump "have always had a very good working relationship."
The big picture: Fauci and Trump's relationship has deteriorated as the two have disagreed on topics like the reopening of schools, testing and the use of treatments like hydroxychloroquine — but he's not the only health official who has clashed with the president.
- On Monday, Trump retweeted a conspiracy from former game show host Chuck Woolery that read: "The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19. Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most ,that we are told to trust. I think it's all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I'm sick of it."
What they're saying:
"Infections in the United States have skyrocketed, surpassing every other country in the world by far, specifically because of Trump's refusal to listen to science. The president's disgusting attempt to pass the buck by blaming the top infectious disease expert in the country -- whose advice he repeatedly ignored and Joe Biden consistently implored him to take -- is yet another horrible and revealing failure of leadership as the tragic death toll continues to needlessly grow."— Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates