Donald Trump stood on the briefing room stage on Thursday and told a room full of reporters that he was invited to throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium on August 15. The announcement came as a surprise not only to White House staff but to Yankees officials as well.
Trump’s announcement came right before his rival Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, was scheduled to throw out the first pitch of the season opener between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals.
“Randy Levine is a great friend of mine from the Yankees,” Trump, referring to the president of the baseball team, said to reporters. “And he asked me to throw out the first pitch, and I think I’m doing that on August 15 at Yankee Stadium.”
According to the New York Times, after Trump made his announcement, White House aides scrambled to try and make it happen, only for Trump to cancel over the weekend.
“Because of my strong focus on the China Virus, including scheduled meetings on Vaccines, our economy, and much else, I won’t be able to be in New York to throw out the opening pitch for the @Yankees on August 15. We will make it later in the season,” Trump tweeted on Sunday, referring to the coronavirus with the racist term “China Virus.”
Trump used coronavirus as the scapegoat for the cancelation of a pitch he was never scheduled to make as his relationship with Dr. Fauci remains tense. And as Dr. Fauci’s turn in the spotlight continues, it’s causing Trump to be more than a little jealous of the infectious disease doc’s popularity, fueling his need to compete with the doctor.
The pair’s seemingly one-sided rivalry began during the coronavirus pandemic when Fauci was part of the White House coronavirus taskforce. The two often butted heads over the seriousness of the virus. Trump downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic from the beginning, while Dr. Fauci provided a more accurate assessment of the virus, gaining the trust of the public, much to Trump’s dismay.