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Those are real numbers Fauci clashes with Trump over Covid cases data as virus fuels political divide

President Donald Trump and disease expert Anthony Fauci publicly traded barbs after Trump claimed that the US’ Covid-19 situation is “exaggerated.” With Trump sour over Fauci’s positive media coverage, commenters took sides.

Fauci, Trump’s top disease expert, immediately appeared on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ to counter Trump’s claim.

“The numbers are real,” he said. “All you need to do…is to go into the trenches, go into the hospitals, go into the intensive care units and see what is happening. Those are real numbers, real people and real deaths.”

Trump’s relationship with Fauci has at times been testy, with the disease doctor throwing cold water on Trump’s optimistic predictions throughout the pandemic – like in February, when he called Trump’s forecast that the disease would wane by April “unlikely,” and when he downplayed Trump’s promotion of Hydroxychloroquine as a potential “game changer” treatment.

Despite Fauci and Trump working toward the same end-goals, the doctor’s tempered tone – and likely his willingness to criticize Trump – has earned him glowing media coverage, and fawning praise from Democrats, including Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, who proclaimed Christmas Eve ‘Dr. Anthony Fauci Day’ in honor of his 80th birthday.

Trump, on the other hand, is still despised by most mainstream media outlets. After Fauci’s appearance on ‘Meet the Press,’ the president raged at the apparent bias in a follow-up tweet.

“Something how Dr. Fauci is revered by the LameStream Media as such a great professional, having done, they say, such an incredible job, yet he works for me and the Trump Administration, and I am in no way given any credit for my work. Gee, could this just be more Fake News??,” he wrote.

Something how Dr. Fauci is revered by the LameStream Media as such a great professional, having done, they say, such an incredible job, yet he works for me and the Trump Administration, and I am in no way given any credit for my work. Gee, could this just be more Fake News?

Trump first accused his opponents of “politicizing” the pandemic back in February, two weeks after his ban on incoming flights from China was called “xenophobic” by Democrats, including incoming president Joe Biden.

Since that time, both sides of the political aisle have differed hugely in their attitudes to the novel coronavirus. Democrats and liberals in general overwhelmingly support mask mandates and business shutdowns, while opposition to mask-wearing is almost exclusively a conservative position. Likewise, 82 percent of Biden voters considered Covid-19 a “very important” issue in the runup to November’s presidential election, compared to just 24 percent of Trump voters, according to a Pew Research poll.

That divide was alive and well online on Sunday, with journalists, liberals and anti-Trump Republicans left aghast by Trump’s supposed “insult to the doctors and nurses who work every day treating Covid patients.”

This tweet is an insult to the doctors and nurses who work every day treating Covid patients then go home to their families worried they’ll infect them. It’s also a reminder: the federal government failed by not implementing a national strategy for a once in a 100yrs pandemic. https://t.co/pX8pE9TbL7

[email protected] -Still complete disregard for human life.⬇️-Still contributing to misinformation.⬇️-Still trying to ruin our democracy & elections with no facts/evidence.-Still encouraging a rally on 1/6 that will likely end up in violence-Don’t take their bait-stay home. https://t.co/hPXinlTlnl

All else about his failures as president aside, may I say how repulsive this is just from the point of view of decency and humanity? https://t.co/M9DfUFQLKr

Trump’s supporters, meanwhile, cheered the president for speaking “unpleasant facts,” accusing his opponents of inflating the statistics.

Unpleasant Facts:https://t.co/zQvRGngYkH

Two things are obvious:- Hospitals make far more money from “Covid.”- The opposition uses exaggerated numbers to try to hurt Trump. Disgusting. Fraud. https://t.co/u0yKzVJp11

The [email protected] is not in the business of health, they spread disinformation to push a narrative. They should be disbanded. https://t.co/YtFcD80nuP

Barring the most unlikely of long shots, Trump will leave office in just over two weeks. How Joe Biden manages to make good on his promise to “unite” Americans so deeply divided by something as apolitical as a virus, however, is anyone’s guess.

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