At a rally on Sunday, President Donald Trump said that he might fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, his administration's top infectious disease expert, shortly after Tuesday's election.
At a rally in Opa-Locka, Florida on Sunday, supporters broke into a "Fire Fauci!" chant as Trump discussed the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Don't tell anyone, but let me wait 'til a little bit after the election," Trump said.
The comments marked the first time that Trump has publicly indicated that he may fire Fauci, who has been the head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases since 1984.
Fauci, a member of the White House's corornavirus task force, has consistently been the most plain-spoken Trump administration official when speaking about the challenges the country faces amid the pandemic.
Trump has publicly criticized Fauci throughout the pandemic. In October, with COVID-19 cases on the rise, Trump tweeted an attack on Fauci. Days later, during a campaign call, Trump called Fauci a "disaster" and said he and other health experts were "idiots."
Polling has shown that Americans consistently believe that they trust Fauci more than Trump when it comes to handling COVID-19.
In the past, Fauci has implied that the White House has limited the number of media appearances he can make, and has also said an ad by the Trump campaign took him out of context.