Former President Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci, in April 2020. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump said he did “the opposite” of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s advice during the pandemic.

Trump said he decided against firing Fauci because he would have “taken heat” for it.

Trump and Fauci have often criticized each other for their differing approaches to the pandemic.

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Former President Donald Trump said he did “pretty much the opposite” of what Dr. Anthony Fauci advised during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump made the comments in an interview on Friday with David Brody on Real America’s Voice.

Brody asked the former president whether he regretted not firing Fauci, who is now Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor and was formerly a lead member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Trump said that while he “got along” with the doctor, he ignored his advice during the pandemic.

“He was there for like 40 years or something. He was a part of the furniture. But if you think about it, I really did pretty much the opposite of whatever he said,” Trump said.

“I actually got along with him, you know? I actually found him-he was a character. He’d say, ‘Just call me Tony. Just call me Tony, sir.’ And, you know, he’s a better promoter than he is a doctor.”

Trump said that he made his own decisions about handling the pandemic, which was often at odds with Fauci’s advice.

“He didn’t want to close our country to China. I did it immediately. I didn’t even hesitate. And he said three months later that I saved thousands of lives by doing it. He didn’t want to close our country to Europe, and I did it.”

In the early days of the pandemic, Dr. Fauci said that restricting travel was “not a good idea at this time.”

However, he was generally supportive of the Chinese travel restrictions that Trump later announced, according to Politifact.

During the interview, Trump also criticized Fauci for changing his stance on the importance of masks.

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“He also said masks don’t mean anything. Then he became a radical masker,” Trump said.

Fauci initially said masks were not useful in preventing the spread of the virus and then advised the general public not to buy them and cause a shortage for medical professionals, Politifact said.

In April, the Centers for Disease Control first recommended that people cover their faces in public.

Fauci previously remarked that Trump disliked masks because he saw them as a “sign of weakness.” Unfortunately, many Americans followed his lead, he said.

Trump said in the interview that he decided not to fire Fauci as it was a no-win situation, and he would have “taken heat” no matter what he did.

“But I did what I wanted to do, and I made the correct decisions,” Trump said.

Fauci said that the former president “very likely” cost American lives by spreading COVID-19 misinformation.

In the interview with Real America’s Voice, Trump also claimed that there were no issues with vaccine hesitancy during his presidency and that everybody “wanted the vaccine.”

“I think people just don’t trust the Biden administration or Biden. Because since I left now, you have the mandate fight, and that’s a big fight, by the way, and you have to allow people their freedom,” he said.

“I took the vaccine,” Trump said. “A lot of people took the vaccine, and it’s been very effective.”

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