President Biden said he is “very confident” in Dr. Anthony Fauci amid a revelation of thousands of his emails showing the “flip-flip” leading infectious disease expert not being forthcoming about the origins of the coronavirus.
Mr. President, do you still have confidence in Dr. Fauci?” a reporter shouted at Biden as he was walking out the room after giving brief remarks touting May jobs report that missed the mark.
“Yes, I’m very confident in Dr. Fauci,” Biden replied, stucking his head back in to the room to expressing his support for his top COVID response doctor in respondng to the reporter’s shouted question.
On Tuesday, a trove of 3,200 of Fauci’s emails from January to June 2020, obtained through the Freedom of Information requests by both The Washington Post and Buzzfeed, offers a rare glimpse of Fauci’s response pandemic last year. Fauci was warned privately of lab leak possibility back in January 2020 with one email from virus researcher Kristian Andersen revealing the virus had “some of the features (potentially) look engineered.”
The emails also revealed his cozy relationship with China’s top infectious disease expert Dr. George Gao — the director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and defended a U.S. taxpayer grant that funded a research group that partnered with the Wuhan lab. In one email, Fauci received on April 18, 2020, from the head of a research group who thanked the infectious doctor for publicly insisting that the evidence did not point to the lab as the source.
Fauci has remained a target for Republican lawmakers over the last weeks, with their critisms intensifying this week following a slew of email drop were published earlier this week revealing a contrast between his public and private sentiment from the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who has repeated clash with Fauci over his flip-flop inconsisent guidance, reiterated his calls for the infectious doctor to be fired as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious following the reports on his emails.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) also joined Paul and called for Fauci’s resignation on Friday.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said the infectious doctor has “blood on his hands” by noting one of the institute, the NIAID is under the National Institutes of Health which Fauci leads gave federal grants funding the gain-of-function research studies at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“Fauci has blood on his hands and now, the whole country knows it,” Gaetz told Spicer in an interview on NewsMax. “We know that the kind of research that spread this virus around the world was research that American taxpayers were partially funding and that Dr. Fauci and his friends were directly involved.”
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) who serves as the ranking member on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, and House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) penned a letter to Democratic chairs of their committees demanding Fauci appear before their committees to testify on the origins of Covid and also demanded “unredacted versions of all of Dr. Fauci’s recently released emails.”
Trump has also joined Republican chorus in making Fauci a punching bag, attacking the leading infectious doctor on numerous issues from the emails, his flip-flop stance on facemasks as he became a “radical masker,” his handling of the pandemic, as one of the top advisor in the former president coronavirus task force, expressing skepticism on the COVID vaccine and the lack of faith that the inoculation would actually work to combat the virus.
The former president plans to lambaste Fauci as he set to make a public return in upcoming MAGA rallies in the Summer months starting this Saturday where he is set to appear at the North Carolina Convention Dinner in giving remark, the second speech he will give of his post-presidency.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration came into Fauci’s defense Thursday following the slew of attacks from Trump and Republicans, saying its top coronavirus adviser has been an “undeniable asset” and retained Biden’s confidence.
“He’s been an undeniable asset in our country’s pandemic response,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. “The president and the administration feel that Dr. Fauci has played an incredible role in getting the pandemic under control, being a voice to the public throughout the course of this pandemic, and again I would reiterate a lot of these emails are from 17 months ago or more, certainly predating this administration.”
Psaki on Friday said there is no circumstance where she could imagine Biden ever firing the liberal darling top doctor.
“He’s overseen management of multiple global health crises, and attacks launched on him are certainly something we wouldn’t stand by,” Psaki said, adding that she wouldn’t have more to add on the matter.
“Can you imagine any circumstance where President Biden would ever fire him?” Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked.
“No,” Psaki replied, moving to the next reporter.