Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a House Select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis hearing in Washington, D.C.
Erin Scot | Pool | Reuters
American voters overwhelmingly approve of it, according to a new poll by CNBC / Change Research, the nation’s foremost infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
President Donald Trump gets much worse reviews.
Nationwide, 72% of likely voters said they approve of Fauci’s work in dealing with the outbreak, and only 28% oppose it, according to the poll. At the same time, only 41% of respondents said they agree with Trump’s handling of the virus, up from 59% who disagree.
In six battlefield states, 66% of voters responded agreeing to Fauci’s handling of Covid-19, up from 34% who oppose it. For Trump, 46% of swing state respondents said they agree with how he deals with the outbreak, while 54% disagree.
The poll results came Monday, hours after the president proposed that the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases be sacked after Tuesday’s presidential election. Fauci has warned of a brutal winter ahead as coronavirus cases loom in the US.
Trump downplayed the outbreak that resulted in more than 230,000 American deaths while trying to win a second term in the White House. At a rally in Florida early Monday, the president signaled he could try to fire the infectious disease expert during a raging pandemic.
Supporters who gathered at the event sang, “Fire Fauci!” The President replied, “Don’t tell anyone, but let me wait until just after the election.”
Trump’s rival in the presidential election, Democrat Joe Biden, wanted to capitalize on Fauci’s popularity during his last series of campaign stops. During his remarks in Cleveland on Monday, he criticized Trump for threatening to oust one of the faces of the government’s virus response.
“I have a better idea: let’s keep Dr. Fauci at work and fire Donald Trump,” he said.
Trump may have trouble directly firing Fauci, an official whose career has spanned decades.
81,400 new Covid-19 infections were reported on Sunday, bringing the seven-day average for US cases above 81,000. On Friday, Fauci told the Washington Post “We’re facing a lot of injuries” and “couldn’t possibly be worse positioned” in the direction of winter.