Rush Limbaugh said Friday that he has remained in regular contact during the coronavirus pandemic with President Trump, whose medical experts have faced frequent bashing from the conservative radio host recently amid leading the White House’s response to the outbreak.
“The president calls me once a week just to see how I’m doing,” Mr. Limbaugh said while hosting the latest episode of his syndicated radio program.
“Sometimes the calls are five minutes. Sometimes they’re 10. Sometimes Vice President Pence gets on the phone. But it’s strictly about how I’m doing. It’s not about anything else,” he stressed.
Mr. Limbaugh, 69, announced in early February that he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and would be broadcasting less frequently while undergoing treatment.
The next day he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for what Mr. Trump called his “decades of tireless devotion to our country.”
Despite hosting “The Rush Limbaugh Show” less often, he has become among the loudest conservative voices to criticize the medical professionals overseeing the administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic as it ravaged the country in the weeks since.
“And how do we know they’re even health experts?” Mr. Limbaugh asked during an episode of his radio program late last month.
“We got all of these Hillary Clinton sympathizers still on the medical expert team here,” Mr. Limbaugh said last week.” And we know that one thing has not changed, and that is these people’s desire above everything else to get rid of Donald Trump.”
Mr. Limbaugh is hardly the only voice on the right to recently mount attacks against the medical professionals serving on the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Former Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, pressed Thursday for Mr. Trump to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease specialist leading the administration’s response to the coronavirus, calling him a “fraud” and that Americans should “quit listening to him.”
More recently, conservative radio personality Michael Savage said on his own program show Friday that Dr. Fauci is a “weasel” who had gone “full Nazi.”
Mr. Trump was asked during a press briefing Friday if he will ask his allies to curb their attacks against Dr. Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, another member of the task force.
“I can only say this: I have tremendous respect for these people and we’ve done very well,” Mr. Trump answered. “I have great respect for these people. I’m never saying bad about these people.”
More than 514,000 cases of COVID-19, the infectious respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, have been confirmed in the U.S. since late January, and over 20,000 people inside the country have died after becoming infected, according to Johns Hopkins University
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