President Trump questioned at a briefing on Tuesday why Anthony Fauci has a much higher approval rating than him, despite the fact that Fauci serves on the White House coronavirus task force and has helped shape the administration's policies.
The big picture: 62% of voters in a recent Morning Consult/Politico poll rated Fauci’s handling of the coronavirus "excellent” or "good," compared to 36% who say the same about Trump.
- The drop in the president's approval comes as White House trade adviser Peter Navarro and other officials have sought to discredit Fauci for being "wrong" about things in the early days of the pandemic — criticisms that Trump has also echoed.
- On Monday night, Trump retweeted a number of critical comments about Fauci, including one that claimed he has "misled the American public."
What he's saying: "He's got a very good approval rating. I like that, it's good. Because remember, he's working for this administration. He's working with us," Trump told reporters about Fauci.
- "We could have gotten other people. We could have gotten somebody else. It didn't have to be Dr. Fauci. He's working with our administration and for the most part, we've done pretty much what he and Dr. Birx and others, who are terrific, recommended."
- "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? We should have a very high — because what we have done in terms of — we're just reading off about the masks and the gowns and the ventilators and numbers that nobody's seen."
- "So it sort of is curious. A man works for us, with us, very closely, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx, very highly thought of. And yet they're highly thought of, but nobody likes me. It can only be my personality.
Go deeper: Fauci pushes back on critical Trump retweets