Trump rips Fauci, mocks errant first pitch at MLB opener


President Trump's apparent public falling out with NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci continues.

The president on Tuesday morning took to Twitter to rip Fauci, a lead member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, amid their ongoing rift over the handling over the pandemic.

Trump said Fauci's past assurances about the course of the virus have proven false -- and tossed in a barb about his infamous ceremonial first pitch at the Yankees-Nationals season-opener in Washington in late July.

“Actually, Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications. 'No problem, no masks'." Trump wrote. "WHO no longer likes Lockdowns - just came out against. Trump was right. We saved 2,000,000 USA lives!!!”

The missive was apparently in response to Fauci's recent disavowal of a newly released Trump campaign ad, in which Fauci appears to praise the Trump administration's response to the public health crisis.

Fauci said the seemingly glowing remark about Trump -- "I can't imagine that anybody could be doing more" -- was in fact taken out of context without his permission.

Fauci said he's never endorsed a candidate in his near-50 years as a government physician, NBC News reported.

"In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed nor do I now endorse any political candidates," Fauci said. "The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials."

The quote was lifted out of context from a FOX News interview in March, the report said.

Fauci said last week that the US could see an additional 100,000-200,000 deaths from coronavirus if appropriate measures aren't taken in the fall and winter.

Despite the apparent flap with Trump -- or perhaps because of it -- Fauci revealed during a Monday night appearance on CNBC that he plans to remain in his role for the entirety of the next four-year presidential term, regardless of who is in office.

Fauci's errant first pitch became a viral hit in the days after MLB's Opening Day in late July. Rocking a Nats cap, jersey and face covering, the 79-year-old unleashed a wild throw that hit the ground well wide of the left-hand batter's box and rolled toward the home dugout.

The hilariously awful toss conjured up past incidents like those involving 50 Cent and Carly Rae Jepsen.

Fauci, a New York City native, said he grew up a Yankees fan but has come to root for the hometown Nats while living and working in the nation's capital.