Dr. Anthony Fauci will likely become former President Donald Trump's new target in his upcoming rallies, with attacks against the famed immunologist already growing after a trove of his emails were published in recent days.
Trump's base has a "visceral" reaction to Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who now serves as President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser on COVID-19, Jason Miller, a Trump senior advisor, told Axios.
"People see Anthony Fauci and they think of shuttered businesses, lost school," Miller said.
Fauci was a key part of Trump's White House COVID Task Force in the early days of the pandemic, but as the disease spread and deaths grew, the relationship between Trump and Fauci quickly started to crumble while they disagreed on the path forward, according to a USA Today timeline about them.
After months of disagreements, the White House last July released a long list of remarks Fauci had made at the beginning of the pandemic in an attempt to undermine his credibility. Also, The New York Times reported that month that Fauci and Trump had not had direct contact for over a month, and Trump directly attacked Fauci on Twitter.
Fauci has worked under both Democrat and Republican administrations since 1984, but on the day after Biden's administration admitted he had a "liberating feeling" because he was no longer working under Trump.
This week, Trump has lit more fire under his Fauci complaints, and in a statement on Wednesday called for China to pay $10 trillion dollars to America and said the "correspondence between Dr. Fauci and China speaks too loudly for anyone to ignore."
Trump will also likely slam Fauci during his dinner remarks at North Carolina's annual Republican convention in Greenville Saturday night. The former president has given several interviews, but the speech will be just his second major public speaking event since leaving office.
He also has two rallies scheduled before July 4 and is expected to target Fauci during those events as well.
The attacks on Fauci have also been growing through several conservative media sources, in some cases with slams being made by hosts and in others with guests criticizing Fauci and his strongly held belief that the pandemic started with a source from nature rather than in the Wuhan research laboratory in China.
Most scientific experts share Fauci's belief, as similar outbreaks were also transmitted through nature, but Trump and others insist otherwise.
Biden has called for a more thorough investigation, and Fauci himself told the Financial Times that China should release the medical records of nine people who became ill through the lab.
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