Former U.S. President Donald Trump has criticized infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, The Washington Post reported Monday.
Trump demanded China pay the U.S. $10 trillion in reparations from the pandemic and denounced the New York attorney general's criminal investigation into his finances in a speech in Greenville, North Carolina, at the state's Republican Party convention.
At a Republican Party convention this past weekend, Trump was introduced by the state's party chairperson Michael Whatley as "our president," a nod to the former president's unfounded accusations that last year's election was stolen from him through voter fraud.
Trump called Fauci "not a great doctor but a great promoter" for his frequent TV appearances. Trump also said Fauci has been "wrong on almost every issue and he was wrong on Wuhan and the lab also," according to the South China Morning Post.
Trump also took a jab at U.S. President Joe Biden, saying "all Joe Biden had to do was sit back and do nothing...the economy is going to hell and inflation is going to cause a catastrophe in the near future," The Post said.
Trump's attacks came at the start of a 90-minute address to Republicans that will be viewed by many as the beginning of the former president's long march to a second White House run in 2024.
Advisers said Trump has been discussing the possibility of another presidential campaign. They are already setting their sights on subsequent appearances in Alabama, Florida, Ohio and Georgia to energize voters and help bolster midterm candidates.
Trump is expected to speak to several more Republican Party state events and host rallies for candidates he supports. He recently held a fundraiser at his club in New Jersey for his political action committee which raised around $5 million, advisers said.
"The survival of America depends on our ability to elect Republicans at every level starting with the midterms next year," he said.