I'm not saying the hypothesis is necessarily correct, but it is simple, novel, and it seems to fit the facts.
Related: "Why the Right Hates Fauci".
In early April of 2020, Fauci’s approval ratings were consistent across ideological lines (65 percent among Democrats, 61 among Republicans, according to YouGov last April 4). By mid-July, that had changed completely: He was rated very favorably by 58 percent of Democrats but only 19 percent of Republicans, according to YouGov. In January of this year, the split was 60/11. By April, when the question was worded as whether voters would “trust a lot” what Fauci said, the party split was 67/7.
Question: what's up with the 7%?