PRESIDENT Donald Trump hinted that he may fire Dr Anthony Fauci should he win the November 3 presidential election.
Fauci has worked as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for more than 30 years.
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What did Trump say at his rally about Dr Fauci?
Trump hinted he may fire long-serving Dr Anthony Fauci during a midnight rally in Florida.
As crowds at Miami Opa-Locka airport chanted "Fire Fauci," Trump replied: “Don’t tell anybody but let me wait until a little bit after the election.
He added: "I appreciate the advice. I appreciate it.”
He then declared: "He's been wrong on a lot. He's a nice man, though. He's been wrong on a lot."
Trump also expressed frustration that the surging cases of the virus – that has killed more than 230,000 Americans – remains so prominent in the news.
Can Trump fire Fauci?
Trump's comments on Fauci are the most direct he has been in suggesting he is serious about trying to remove Fauci from his position.
As the president, Trump has the authority to remove Fauci from his administration.
A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in September showed 68 per cent of Americans have a great deal or a fair amount of trust in Fauci to provide reliable information on the coronavirus.
That compares with 52 per cent of Americans who trusted Democratic hopeful Joe Biden to do that and 40 percent for Trump.
Trump's comments about firing Fauci comes amid several other potential staffing cuts.
Trump has made clear he is displeased with his FBI director, attorney general and other heads of health agencies who he believes have worked against him amid the pandemic
How long has Fauci worked with the government?
Fauci has served for more than three decades as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
While Trump and Fauci put forward a show of cooperation earlier in the pandemic, their relationship has deteriorated significantly.
Trump has recently relied on the advice of Stanford doctor Scott Atlas, who has no prior background in infectious diseases or public health, as his lead science adviser on the pandemic.
Atlas has been a public skeptic about mask-wearing and other measures widely accepted by the scientific community to slow the spread of the virus.
Currently, more than 9.2 million people across the US have contracted coronavirus.
What has he said about Trump's response to coronavirus?
In an interview with the Washington Post, Fauci warned the U.S. has problems ahead.
"We're in for a whole lot of hurt. It's not a good situation," Fauci said.
"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 then declared that Biden's campaign was taking the pandemic "seriously" from a public health perspective.
In response, White House spokesman Judd Deere said Trump always puts people's well-being first and blasted Fauci has decided to "play politics" right before Tuesday's election.
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