Dr. Fauci asserts he's a 'realist' about the coronavirus pandemic after Trump called him an 'alarmist' amid COVID-19 surge in the US

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci responded to President Donald Trump claims that he was an "alarmist."
  • Fauci, a leading infectious disease expert, said he considers himself a realist and an optimist. 
  • Fauci has repeatedly warned for the need to take stricter measures to control the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said he considers himself a "realist" in response to statements made by President Donald Trump over the weekend that called the leading infectious disease expert an alarmist over the coronavirus pandemic, NBC News reported.

"Well, I mean people have their opinion about my reaction to things. I consider myself more a realist than an alarmist," Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead."

In an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace on Sunday, Trump said Fauci was "a little bit of an alarmist" over his stark warnings about the coronavirus pandemic. 

Fauci told Maria Shriver in an interview on Instagram Live on Monday night that Trump's characterization of him was unfair, NBC News reported. 

"I'm a realist, but I'm also an optimist," Fauci said during that interview.

The Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has warned that new daily coronavirus cases in the US could reach 100,000 a day if measures aren't taken to reverse course. So far, more than 75,000 cases were recorded in a single day earlier this month.

The US has close to 3.9 million recorded coronavirus cases and more than 141,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

Members of the Trump Administration have recently tried to discredit Fauci and said he's made some mistakes in handling the pandemic including his initial recommendation for the public not to wear masks. Fauci has previously said that advice was given due to a mask shortage that would have prevented healthcare workers on the frontline from getting the necessary protective gear. 

"Dr. Fauci, at the beginning, said this will pass, don't worry about it, this will pass. He was wrong," Trump said in his interview with Wallace.  

Trump held his first coronavirus task force press conference on Tuesday, but neither Fauci nor any other members of the coronavirus task force were in the room. Fauci told CBS News he wasn't invited to attend. 

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