Dr. Anthony Fauci pushed back against President Donald Trump's characterization of him as an alarmist.
"I consider myself a realist, as opposed to an alarmist," Fauci told Maria Shriver on Instagram Live on Monday.
"I'm a realist, but I'm also an optimist," he added.
When Shriver asked Fauci if he thought the description was "unfair" as he's just "dealing with reality," Fauci responded, "I believe so. But then again, others have different opinions."
Trump called Fauci an alarmist in an interview that aired Sunday on Fox News.
"Dr. Fauci, at the beginning, said this will pass, don't worry about it, this will pass," Trump told host Chris Wallace.
"He was wrong. Dr. Fauci said don't ban China. I did, he then admitted that I was right."
Trump also told Wallace he has a "very good relationship" with Fauci, but the infectious disease expert has made "some mistakes."
He also said he is not involved in a campaign to discredit Fauci.
The president's comments add to the discord between the Trump administration and Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House coronavirus task force.
The White House last week sent reporters a list of statements he made in the first months of the pandemic they said were inaccurate.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.