Trump calls Fauci ‘a disaster’: US Election live news

  • President Donald Trump told campaign staff on Monday people are tired of hearing from infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci and ‘all these idiots’ about the coronavirus.
  • The Supreme Court has said it will hear an appeal from the Trump administration on a ruling that said the president did not have authority to divert military funds for US-Mexico wall.
  • Trump campaigns in Arizona on Monday, while Joe Biden has only an advertisement taping scheduled before Thursday’s debate.
  • Early voting begins on Monday in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, and North Dakota.
  • The US Election Project shows that more than 28.7 million US voters have already cast ballots, with 15 days until the November 3 election.

    Monday, October 19:

    17:00 ET – Biden slams Trump’s comments on Fauci

    Biden, in a statement on Monday, slammed Trump’s earlier comments to campaign staffers in which he said Dr Anthony Fauci was ‘a disaster’ and people were tired of hearing from him and ‘all these idiots’ about the coronavirus.

    “Waving a white flag and saying “it is what it is” is unacceptable when thousands of American lives are being taken each week, when businesses are closing and schools remain shuttered,” Biden said in a statement.

    “Mr President, you’re right about one thing: the American people are tired. They’re tired of your lies about this virus,” he said. “They’re tired of watching more Americans die and more people lose their jobs because you refuse to take this pandemic seriously.”

    Monday, October 19:

    17:00 ET – Biden slams Trump’s comments on Fauci

    Biden, in a statement on Monday, slammed Trump’s earlier comments to campaign staffers in which he said Dr Anthony Fauci was ‘a disaster’ and people were tired of hearing from him and ‘all these idiots’ about the coronavirus.

    “Waving a white flag and saying “it is what it is” is unacceptable when thousands of American lives are being taken each week, when businesses are closing and schools remain shuttered,” Biden said in a statement.

    “Mr President, you’re right about one thing: the American people are tired. They’re tired of your lies about this virus,” he said. “They’re tired of watching more Americans die and more people lose their jobs because you refuse to take this pandemic seriously.”

    “The doctor said…Barron has tested positive. I said oh, how’s he going to do? ‘Very good sir’. Like 14 minutes later, how’s Barron? How’s he doing doc? How’s my boy doing? ‘Sir, he’s cured,’” he said. “It took about 12 seconds.”

    Trump also continued his attacks on NBC News reporter Kristen Welker, calling her a “radical Democrat”.

    16:15 ET – Trump calls Fauci a ‘nice guy’

    Trump softened his attack on Dr Anthony Fauci after earlier in the day called the top infectious disease expert “a disaster”.

    “No, I think really Dr Fauci is a very nice man. But we let him do what he wants to do. He gets a lot of television. He loves being on television. We let him do it,” Trump told reporters.

    “Sometimes he says things are a little bit off and they get built up, unfortunately. But he’s a nice guy. I like him, but he’s called a lot of bad calls. He said, don’t wear a mask. And he said, don’t ban China. They were bad calls. He admits that. And I don’t hold that against him. If I did, I wouldn’t have him. No, I think he’s a nice guy,” Trump said.

    16:00 ET – New poll shows Trump cutting into Biden’s lead

    Trump appeared to cut into Democratic rival Joe Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania, one of the election’s most important battlegrounds, but Biden maintained a solid lead in Wisconsin, according to new Reuters/Ipsos opinion polls.

    The poll showed 49 percent support for Biden in Pennsylvania and 45 percent support for Trump. That’s down from 51 percent support from Biden and 44 percent support for Trump in last week’s poll.

    In Wisconsin, Biden had 51 percent support, compared to Trump’s 43 percent support.

    15:30 ET – Trump says he will test for COVID-19 before next presidential debate

    Trump said on Monday he would test for the coronavirus before the next presidential debate with Democratic candidate Joe Biden this week.

    “Sure I would have no problem with that,” Trump told reporters when he was asked whether he would be tested before Thursday’s debate in Nashville.

    Trump announced on October 2 that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and has declined to say when he last tested negative before the previous debate held on September 29.

    15:00 ET – Trump says talking to the media is ‘debate prep’

    Trump told reporters on Monday that talking to the media is “debate prep”.

    “I’m doing this,” Trump said after arriving in Phoenix, Arizona, when asked how he was preparing for the upcoming debate on Thursday.

    “I call this debate prep,” he added.

    Thursday’s debate will take place in Nashville, Tennessee and will be moderated by NBC News correspondent Kristen Welker. The topics are Fighting COVID-19, American Families, Race in America, Climate Change, National Security and Leadership.

    14:30 ET – Few issues initially reported in Florida early voting

    Residents of Florida began early voting in much of the state Monday with no serious problems immediately reported.

    The most populous counties reported wait times of 15 minutes or less at most of their early voting sites Monday afternoon, although a few sites reported waits of up to 90 minutes, according to the Associated Press.

    However, one Palm Beach County site reported a three-hour wait.

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