The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Trump complains Fauci has better approval rating as coronavirus deaths near 150,000

Anesthesiologist Islaam Elnagar describes what he is seeing inside a rural hospital outside Tampa, Fla. (Video: Whitney Leaming, Joyce Koh/The Washington Post)
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As coronavirus deaths in the United States neared 150,000, President Trump complained Tuesday about his approval ratings, asking reporters why his numbers are not as good as those for Anthony S. Fauci, the top infectious-disease expert and coronavirus task force member who Trump has criticized as a “bit of an alarmist.”

“He’s got this high approval rating,” Trump said Tuesday at the White House coronavirus task force briefing, “so why don’t I have a high approval rating?”

At the briefing, Trump also defended a viral video that he helped spread in retweets on Monday, even as social media platforms scrambled to remove it because it contained misleading and false claims about the coronavirus pandemic. Asked about a woman in the video who dismissed mask-wearing and promoted hydroxychloroquine — a drug that performed poorly in trials — as a cure for covid-19, Trump said that she was “very impressive” in describing her experience with patients.