Donald Trump clashed once again with his leading infectious disease expert on Twitter, contradicting Anthony Fauci's explanation as to why coronavirus cases in the US are surging while Europe's numbers fall.
Mr Trump retweeted a video in which Dr Fauci outlines the difference between the reactions – most European countries shut down the vast majority of their economies, while the US took a less stringent approach – calling the immunologist's statement "wrong".
In a recent congressional testimony, Dr Fauci explains the drop in European cases as a result of countries shutting up to 95 per cent of their economies, while the US only reached 50 per cent.
Dr. Fauci explains why the U.S. has continued to see a surge in cases while European countries have seen a sharp decrease.
He says most European countries shut their economy by 95%, while functionally the U.S. only shut its economy down by 50%.https://t.co/pYCjQK5bri pic.twitter.com/IJdQ2Q1zKE
— CBS News (@CBSNews)
The president instead claimed the reason US cases continue to spike is to do with testing. "Wrong! We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases. How did Italy, France & Spain do? Now Europe sadly has flare ups. Most of our governors worked hard & smart. We will come back STRONG!"
Dr Fauci is correct in asserting the difference between shutdowns, including in observing that while some states followed the Centres for Disease Control guidelines in reopening, others did not, leading to surges in many western and southern states.
The spat is the latest in a series of altercation indicating a turbulent relationship between the president and the expert.
Despite Mr Trump's claims the two have a "good relationship", the administration and its allies have repeatedly undermined its own top infectious disease expert. The president recently shared a tweet calling Dr Fauci a "fraud".
While a recent poll showed the approval ratings of Mr Trump's handling of the pandemic at a record low, Dr Fauci is trusted by Americans. This has led the president to ponder why "nobody likes [him]".
This comes as Mr Trump continues to fall in the polls compared to Democrat Joe Biden.
With more than 150,000 deaths and a caseload exceeding 4.5 million, the US has the highest figures globally.