President Donald Trump on Sunday retweeted a message from a supporter criticising infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the leaders of the White House effort to battle the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
And the message included a #FireFauci hashtag.
The tweet was part of a flurry of messages Trump fired off on Sunday, many of which attacked the media:
The message refers to a CNN interview on Sunday in which Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked about a report that his team pushed for earlier social distancing measures, but were rejected by the White House.
CNN's Jake Tapper asked if earlier action could have saved lives.
"It's very difficult to go back and say that," Fauci said diplomatically, then added:
"I mean, obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives. Obviously, no one is going to deny that. But what goes into those kinds of decisions is complicated."
Trump last month said he and Fauci "get along very well," and called the highly respected infectious diseases specialist "extraordinary."
Fauci, for his part, has defended Trump as well.
"The president has listened to what I have said and ... what the other people on the task force have said," Fauci said in a radio interview last month. "When I made recommendations, he's taken them. He's never countered or overridden me."
Trump's Sunday message ― part of an Easter tweetstorm attacking the media including Fox News host Chris Wallace― could signal a rift between the two.
-This article originally appeared on HuffPost US