President Donald Trump has hit out at the government's top infectious disease expert branding him 'a Democrat' 

Trump took swipes at Dr Anthony Fauci while campaigning in North Carolina.

It came as he defended his administration's response to the pandemic, with the number of deaths in America continuing to grow. 

Addressing the crowd, he reminded them that Dr Fauci at one point said that people should not wear a mask.

The doctor has said that an early recommendation about not wearing a mask was because there was a shortage of personal protective equipment for health professionals at the time.

READ MORE: Top US doctor expects ‘more than one’ coronavirus vaccine by end of 2020

He has since called for universal mask-wearing.

President Trump called Dr Fauci a nice guy, "so I keep him around".

But he also described Dr Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, as a Democrat.

"Everybody knows that. He's Cuomo's friend," President Trump said, a reference to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Dr Fauci has been studiously apolitical over a five-decade career in public health.

The doctor has expressed dismay that the president used his comments in a campaign advert and says his comments were taken out of comments.