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Trump suggests he might attempt to fireplace Fauci after the election

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President Donald Trump arrives to speak during his campaign rally at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport on November 1, 2020 in Opa Locka, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images News | Getty Images

President Donald Trump suggested early Monday that he could try to fire a highly respected member of his coronavirus task force, Anthony Fauci, after Fauci continued to criticize Trump's handling of the virus.

Fauci, the country's foremost infectious disease expert who is director of the National Institute on Allergies and Infectious Diseases, has challenged Trump's repeated claims that the US fight against the virus "rounded off" when it actually turns tens of thousands of people every day infected.

"We are very injured. It is not a good situation," Fauci told the Washington Post on Friday. "All the stars are in the wrong place for the fall and winter seasons, and people gather at home. They couldn't possibly be worse positioned."

When Trump defended his handling of the virus at a nightly rally at Opa-Locka airport in the Miami area, a "Fire Fauci" shout broke out.

In response to the chant, Trump said, "Don't tell anyone, but let me wait until shortly after the election."

Election day is Tuesday, and Trump follows Democratic rival Joe Biden in opinion polls.

Fauci is one of the most popular health professionals in the United States, a fact Trump has quoted in the past so as not to get involved with him.

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Steven Gregory