Biden defends Fauci after Trump threatens his dismissal

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden defended Anthony Fauci on Monday after President Donald Trump suggested he may fire the nation's top infectious disease expert after Election Day.

Photo: AFP

"Last night, Trump said he was going to fire Dr. Fauci. Isn't that wonderful?" Biden said during a drive-in rally in Cleveland, Ohio, earlier on Monday.

"I've got a better idea. Elect me, and I'm going to hire Dr. Fauci and we're going to fire Donald Trump," said Biden.

Biden's remarks came after Trump suggested at a rally in Florida late Sunday that he may try to dismiss Fauci from his post at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases following the election.

"Don't tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election," Trump said when the crowd broke out into chants of "fire Fauci."

"I appreciate the advice ... He's a nice man though. He's been wrong on a lot," Trump said.

Former President Barack Obama also hammered Trump's suggestion on Monday when speaking at a rally in Atlanta on behalf of Biden and Democratic Senate candidates in Georgia.

"One of the few people in this administration who's been taking this seriously all along and what'd he say? His second-term plan is to fire that guy," Obama said.

"They've already said they're not going to contain the pandemic. Now they want to fire the one person who can actually help them contain the pandemic," he said.

The Trump administration's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic remains a major issue of this year's election.

The U.S. COVID-19 cases surpassed 9.2 million with over 230,000 deaths as of Monday evening, showed a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

"We're in for a whole lot of hurt. It's not a good situation," Fauci told The Washington Post on Friday.

"All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly," he said.