The White House has accused top health expert Anthony Fauci of playing politics days before the election.
Dr. Fauci said to the Washington Post the US was in for a “whole lot of hurt”.
He also explained how President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden are approaching the pandemic.
What did Dr. Fauci say?
During an interview with the Post published on Saturday night, Dr. Fauci warned that “all the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors.”
“You could not possibly be positioned more poorly,” he said.
He was asked about the approaches of Republican Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. Dr. Fauci said, Mr. Biden was “taking it seriously from a public health perspective”, while Mr. Trump was “looking at it from a different perspective… the economy and reopening the country”.
He said the US needed to make an “abrupt change” in public health practices and behaviors.
Reaction from White House
The comments raised eyebrows at the White House, which accused Fauci of attempting to bolster Mr. Biden’s bid for the presidency.
Spokesman Judd Deere said the comments were “unacceptable and breaking with all norms”.
“As a member of the [US Coronavirus] Task Force, Dr. Fauci has a duty to express concerns or push for a change in strategy, but he’s not done that, instead choosing to criticize the president in the media and make his political leanings known by praising the president’s opponent,” he added in a statement.
Coronavirus has remained a grave matter in the run-up to the Presidential election. According to data collated by Johns Hopkins University, deaths in the US have now passed 230,000, while more than nine million cases have been registered.
Joe Biden has called the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic an “insult” to its victims. “Even if I win, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to end this pandemic,” he told voters this week. “I do promise this: We will start on day one doing the right things.”
On the contrary, Mr. Trump warned that a Biden presidency would lead to more lockdowns and economic misery for Americans.
“If you vote for Joe Biden it means no kids in school, no graduations, no weddings, no thanksgivings, no Christmas, and no Fourth of July together.
“Other than that you’ll have a wonderful life. Can’t see anybody, but that’s alright,” he said.
He cast the election as “a choice between a Trump super-recovery and a Biden depression”.