Dr Anthony Fauci isn’t going anywhere, the White House confirmed on Friday. During a press briefing, a Fox News reporter asked press secretary Jen Psaki whether there was any circumstance where president Biden would fire the prominent infectious disease specialist.
Her answer? “No.”
Her comments came hours after President Joe Biden has insisted that he is “very confident” in Dr Fauci.
First Lady Jill Biden will also signal her support for the infectious diseases expert with a media blitz alongside him in New York following an ongoing saga surrounding newly released emails he sent a year ago.
Following remarks regarding the economy on Friday, Mr Biden had left the room when a reporter yelled, “Do you still have confidence in Dr Fauci?
Mr Biden responded: “Yes, I am very confident.” The White House also defended the doctor on Thursday calling him “an undeniable asset in our country’s pandemic response.”
The question comes amid ongoing pressure on the president’s chief medical adviser following the release of thousands of his emails through FOIA requests by The Washington Post and Buzzfeed, giving insight into the handling of the pandemic at its onset.
Republicans have been quick to criticise the doctor following the release of the correspondence, with House minority whip Steve Scalise saying they proved there had been a “major cover-up” over issues such as the Wuhan lab-leak theory.
Former President Donald Trump has also lashed out once again at his former coronavirus adviser following the release of the emails, saying: “The correspondence between Dr Fauci and China speaks too loudly for anyone to ignore.”
Amid the backlash, Dr Biden has announced a media blitz with Dr Fauci in New York in another show of solidarity, including an exclusive interview and a visit to a vaccination centre.
According to a release from the White House, Dr Biden and Dr Fauci will travel to New York on Sunday before visiting a vaccination clinic at a church in Harlem in the afternoon.
The pair will also give a joint interview on Live with Kelly and Ryan which will air on Monday, during which they will “share an update on the progress that the country has made against the pandemic”..
The release states that Dr Biden and Dr Fauci will also “talk about the widening scope of vaccination efforts in the US” as the government strives to drive further uptake of the shots.
So far, over 60 per cent of adults have received one dose of a Covid shot, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases also made a host of live appearances on Thursday during which he responded to the backlash, saying he thought the emails were “ripe to be taken out of context”.
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