There are no circumstances under which President Joe Biden would consider firing Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House said on Friday.
‘No,’ said White House press secretary Jen Psaki when asked about the option.
For the second day in a row she fielded questions about Fauci in the wake of questions surrounding his released emails, calling him a ‘renowned’ figure. And, for the second day in a row, she defended the doctor.
‘Dr. Fauci is a renowned public servant – civil servant – I should say career civil servant. He’s overseen management of multiple global health crises,’ she said. ‘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 gonna have much more to add on them from here.’
Psaki also wouldn’t speculate whether the attacks aimed at him were ‘political,’ as Republicans have largely drawn attention to the emails.
‘I’m going to let Dr. Fauci speak to his own defense of his emails from 17 months again before this president even took office,’ the press secretary said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said ‘no’ when asked Friday if there would be ‘any circumstance’ in which President Joe Biden would fire Dr. Anthony Fauci
Psaki wouldn’t endorse or dismiss the idea of a congressional commission to examine the origins of early US response to the pandemic.
‘I would say if members of Congress have a discussion and want to have a discussion about that we’re happy to hear from them,’ she said, pointing out the White House is in their own process of conducting a 90-day review of the origins of the coronavirus.
‘We share agreement on that we all want to get to the bottom of what happened here,’ she said when pressed about Republican demands to know if the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan.
Meanwhile, President Biden said on Friday he is ‘very confident’ in Fauci after his top medical adviser came under fire for comments about the coronavirus pandemic revealed in a series of emails.
Biden expressed his confidence in Fauci after he made remarks on the May jobs report. The president had actually left the room where he gave the speech when DailyMail.com shouted a question to him about the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
President Biden stuck his head back in to answer.
‘Yes I’m very confident in Dr. Fauci,’ he said.
The White House has been unwavering in its support for Fauci. Biden is throwing more support to Fauci by sending him to visit a vaccination clinic at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem on Sunday with first lady Jill Biden.
Fauci has gone on the defensive the past couple of weeks after several emails he wrote were published by The Washington Post and Buzzfeed News as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.
The emails raised questions about the early handling of the pandemic and Fauci’s role in the government response.
In the 3,200 pages of his redacted emails, Fauci appears to cast doubt on the theory the coronavirus leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China, and offered guidance on face masking he would later reverse.
President Joe Biden is throwing more support to Fauci by sending him to visit a vaccination clinic at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem on Sunday with first lady Jill Bidena
President Joe Biden told DailyMail.com he is ‘very confident’ in Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci under fire for revelations in his released emails about COVID pandemic
Fauci received an email from the head of a research group which partners with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (above) thanking him for publicly insisting that the evidence did not point to the lab as the source
Security personnel keep watch outside Wuhan Institute of Virology during the visit by the World Health Organization (WHO) team in February
The White House has defended Fauci even as several Republicans called for access to his unredacted emails and asked that he appear again before House committees to answer their questions.
‘Well, I think we’ve spoken to this pretty extensively from here. Let me just say on Dr. Fauci and his emails – he’s also spoken to this many many times over the last, over the course of the last few days and we’ll let him speak for himself,’ White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday.
‘And he’s been an undeniable asset in our country’s pandemic response,’ she said. ‘But it’s obviously not that advantageous for me to re-litigate the substance of emails from 17 months ago.’
She continued to praise Fauci after repeated questions about the issues raised in his emails, particularly his dismissal of the theory on COVID’s origins and his contradictory guidance on face masks.
‘The president and the administration feel that Dr. Fauci has played an incredible role in getting the pandemic under control,’ she said.
She pointed to an administration intelligence review into the origins of COVID-19 that is underway.
‘We’ve launched, based on the President’s direction, an entire internal review process to use all the resources across government to get to the bottom of the origins, and that’s 100-day process and we’ll look forward to providing – or 90 days when it’s concluded,’ Psaki said.
Meanwhile, Republicans are demanding to hear from the infectious disease expert.
House Republican whip Steve Scalise and Rep. James Comer wrote to the chairs of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus and the House Oversight Committee to say it was ‘imperative’ that Fauci appeared before them.
They said the release of Fauci’s emails debunk many Democrats’ claims from the past year, including that Fauci and other scientists were muzzled by the Trump administration.
‘It is now imperative that Dr. Fauci come before our Committees to provide information related to the origins of the novel coronavirus as well as the U.S. government’s role in funding research that may have contributed to the development of the novel coronavirus, they said.
‘The American people have a right to know what our government knew about the origins of the pandemic and when it was known.’
They also called on the committee’s chairman and chairwoman to demand unredacted versions of Fauci’s newly released emails.
On Wednesday, Fauci said his emails ‘are really ripe to be taken out of context.’
‘Where someone can snip out a sentene in an email without showing the other emails and say, ‘based on an email from Dr. Fauci, he said such-and-such,’ where you don’t really have the full context,’ the doctor said.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden walk from Marine One to board Air Force One for return travel to Washington, DC at Dover Air Force Base
Senior Republicans have written to their Democratic counterparts demanding that Dr. Anthony Fauci answer fresh questions about evidence revealed in his emails about his knowledge of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic
The thousands of pages of emails – with many blacked out redactions – reveal Fauci’s conversations about the pandemic with a variety of people, from doctors in China to American government officials to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Republicans jumped on many of the emails as a ‘smoking gun,’ using them to attack Fauci for conflicting words.
Fauci’s emails do not reveal his personal take on the theory that coronavirus escaped from a lab in China, but show that multiple experts warned him of the possibility.
In January 2020, Fauci corresponded with virus researcher Kristian Andersen who wrote of the novel coronavirus that ‘some of the features (potentially) look engineered.’ Andersen later disavowed this view and said further research discounted it.
On February 21, 2020 Fauci received an email from a Cornell University professor concerned that the virus had escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. ‘Please handle,’ Fauci wrote to a colleague as he forwarded the message.
On April 16, 2020, Francis Collins, the director of the National Institute of Health, sent Fauci and email with the subject line ‘conspiracy gains momentum’ with a link to a Fox News article suggesting the Wuhan lab as the likely source of the virus.
Fauci’s response to Collins is entirely blacked out.
The emails also revealed Dr. Peter Daszak, the head of a non-profit that funneled U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, thanked Fauci for publicly quashing the ‘lab leak’ theories.
In private emails, Fauci was always courteous to his Chinese counterparts — and did not question them on the origins of the virus, the emails show.
Fauci exchanged several emails in March and April of 2020 with George Gao, the head of the Chinese CDC.
In one exchange, Gao apologized for an article quoting him saying that Fauci’s then stance against public mask wearing was a ‘big mistake’.
‘I understand completely. No problem. We will get through this together,’ Fauci replied.
Less than a week later, Gao emailed Fauci again expressing his support amid the onslaught of public criticism Fauci faced.
‘I saw some news (hope it is fake) that you are being attacked by some people. Hope you are well under such a irrational situation,’ Gao wrote on April 8.
‘Thank you for your kind note. All is well despite some crazy people in this world,’ Fauci replied three days later.
On Thursday, Fauci doubled down on claims that the coronavirus likely originated from an animal then was transmitted to humans in an interview on CNN, despite increasing speculation that it leaked from a China lab.
‘I have always said and will say today to you … that I still believe the most likely origin is from an animal species to a human,’ said Fauci.
Although he said he’s keeping an open mind about the possibility of a lab leak, Fauci said it was ‘far-fetched’ to think the Chinese would kill their own people.
‘The idea, I think, is quite far-fetched that the Chinese deliberately engineered something so that they could kill themselves, as well as other people. I think that’s a bit far out.’
Additionally, a February 5, 2020, email Fauci sent to Sylvia Burwell, former secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, said he did not recommend wearing a mask since she was traveling to a low-risk location.
‘Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection,’ Fauci wrote. ‘The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through the material. It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keep out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you. I do not recommend that you wear a mask, particularly since you are going to a vey low risk location.’
By late March, Fauci was changing his tune in public and private.
‘There are some data from NIH that indicate that mere speaking without coughing elicits aerosols that travel a foot or two. If that is the case, then perhaps universal wearing of masks in the most practical way to go,’ he wrote in an email on March 31, 2020.
Fauci told CNN this week that they were constantly getting new data, which brought about changes in their medical recommendations as the pandemic progressed.
‘If we knew that the data show that masks outside of a hospital setting actually do work when we didn’t know it then. If we realize all of those things back then, of course,’ he said. ‘You’re asking a question, ‘Would you do something different if you know what you know now?’ Of course people would have done that. That’s so obvious.’