"I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that," Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said in an interview with The Atlantic published Wednesday.
The latest feedback came as the White House reportedly stepped up efforts to discredit Fauci. Among the attacks against the leading expert, presidential adviser Peter Navarro wrote in an op-ed published in USA Today on Tuesday that Fauci "has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on."
"I can't explain Peter Navarro," Fauci told The Atlantic. "He's in a world by himself."
"The attempt to discredit Fauci's public-health expertise is a political move, and one with disastrous implications," the outlet said. "The Americans who believe the White House's anti-science campaign risk cutting themselves off from potentially life-saving information."
Around 3.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States, with over 137,000 deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.