Speaking at the White House press briefing on Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki gave an emphatic, monosyllabic answer when asked if she could imagine any circumstance where President Biden would ever fire Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Psaki said bluntly, “No.”
Fox News’ Doocy asked, “You mentioned Dr. Fauci. There have been these emails that have come out through a FOIA request that make it seem like — we knew that he had his hands full at the time trying to figure out what to do — but it seems like there were times that he was saying one thing in email and then coming to this microphone and saying something else. If that is the case, and if that affected U.S. policy, posture at the time, should he be held accountable?”
“Well, I’ve talked a little bit about Dr. Fauci, and Dr. Fauci has been out doing several interviews himself and answering questions on these emails and questions that you all may have,” Psaki answered. “Dr. Fauci is a renowned public servant — civil servant, I should say, career civil servant; he’s overseen management of multiple global health crises, and attacks launched on him are certainly something we wouldn’t stand by. I understand there’s interest in the emails. He’s answered a lot of questions on the emails; I don’t think I’m going to have much more to add on them from here.”
“Do you think these attacks on him are political, against Dr. Fauci?” Doocy queried.
“I’m gonna let Dr. Fauci speak to his own defense of his emails from 17 months ago before this president even took office,” Psaki countered.
Doocy pressed, “Does President Biden have any position on gain-of-function research?”
“Well, we have not, as Dr. Fauci has actually said repeatedly, we’ve never approved any funding for gain-of-function research in Wuhan,” Psaki stated. “I know, I think that’s why you’re asking the question. I believe some may have been approved or there was funding approved during the prior administration. There’s a framework, I should say —this not meant to be a criticism of funding and how it’s approved for different NIH programs, but I would send you to that to get more of an explanation of the funding mechanisms.”
Doocy had one last question: “Since you mentioned Dr. Fauci again, can you imagine any circumstance where President Biden would ever fire him?”
“No,” Psaki said.
On Friday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) urged Fauci to resign and also demanded a full congressional investigation into the multitude of recently-released emails, as well as the origins of COVID-19.
“Anthony Fauci’s recently released emails and investigative reporting about #COVID19origins are shocking. The time has come for Fauci to resign and for a full congressional investigation into the origins of #COVID19- and into any and all efforts to prevent a full accounting,” Hawley tweeted.
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