Republican sensors Marsha Blackburn, Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton are calling for Dr. Anthony Fauci to resign, saying he has “lost the trust of the American people” amid controversy over the origins of COVID-19 – and if he does not step down Republican senators call on President Biden to dismiss him.
“Foci needs to retire,” Blackburn told Fox News this week. “And the Biden administration must ask him to step down.”
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Rubio added: “If President Biden is committed to science and the discovery of the truth about COVID, he must fire Fauci.”
“Dr. Fautsi has lost the trust of the American people with his repeated cover-ups, misdirections and politicized statements,” Cotton said. “If he doesn’t resign, Joe Biden should fire him.”
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The Republican is urging Fauci to step down after Fauci’s emails were released through the Freedom of Information Act last week, which reveals changing recommendations for masks and his early suspicions in theory that COVID-19 had leaked from a lab.
On Wednesday, Fautsi responded to criticism, saying the attacks on him “are attacks on science”.
“All the things I’ve talked about consistently from the beginning are fundamentally based on science,” Fauci said in an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd. “Sometimes these things were uncomfortable truths for people and there was repulsion against me, so if you try, you know, to attack me as a public health worker and a scientist, you’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you’re attacking science. ”
He added: “And everyone who watches what is happening clearly sees this. You have to sleep so you don’t see it. It’s happening. Science and truth are being attacked.”
The White House defended Fauci amid criticism, calling it an “undisputed asset” for the country during the pandemic, with President Biden saying he was “very confident” in Fauci.
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This week, White House Coronavirus Task Force Director Jeffrey Zienz defended Fauci against attacks, crediting him with helping “invent and invest” in mRNA of the vaccine platform “over the past two decades, to be prepared in case the worst happened. ”
“That’s how you got the vaccine first,” Zienz said. “So, thank you, Dr. Fauci.”
And last week, after his emails were released, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Fauci was “an indisputable asset in our country’s pandemic response” and said there was no reason for her to imagine President Biden firing Fauci. .
“He has overseen the management of many global health crises and the attacks against him are certainly something we cannot stand for,” Psaki said, adding that there would be nothing to add on the issue.
“Can you imagine any circumstance in which President Biden would ever fire him?” Peter Ducy of Fox News asked.
“No,” Psaki replied.
In an email, the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Francis Collins, sent Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a link to Report on Fox News which gave credence to the theory that the coronavirus may have originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology with the theme “conspiracy is gaining momentum.” Fauci’s response has been completely edited.
In an email dated February 1, 2020, immunologist Christian Andersen wrote to Fauci, claiming that the virus had “unusual characteristics” that could suggest laboratory manipulations. Andersen and his team then further examined the theory and their research showed that the virus was not “a laboratory construct or a deliberately manipulated virus,” the emails said.
Another email came to Fauci from Peter Daszak, who runs the EcoHealth Alliance, which received millions of grants from the NIH, including a $ 600,000 grant from Fauci’s agency, NIAID, which later paid the Wuhan Institute of Virology for research. the risk that bat coronaviruses can infect humans.
“I just wanted to thank you personally on behalf of our staff and staff for standing up publicly and saying that the scientific evidence supports the natural origin of COVID-19 from the spread of bats to humans, not the release of a laboratory from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” Dasak said in an email. Fauci replied, “Thank you very much for your kind note.”
Last month, President Biden issued a public statement revealing that the US intelligence community had “united around two plausible scenarios” for the origin of COVID-19, “including whether it arose from human contact with an infected animal or a laboratory accident” and called for “additional subsequent actions”.
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The president has asked the intelligence community to “redouble its efforts to gather and analyze information that could bring us to a final conclusion and report back to me in 90 days,” Biden said.
A source told Fox News that the administration did not rule out scientifically plausible hypotheses, but focused on the scenarios mentioned in the president’s statement on Wednesday.
The source was unaware of current evidence in support of a deliberate laboratory leak and instead highlighted the “laboratory accident” statement in Biden’s statement.
Since then, Fauci has said he “keeps an open mind” about the origin of the virus.
Meanwhile, Blackburn, Rubio and Cotton are not alone. House Republican Kevin McCarthy also called for Foucy to step down or for Biden to fire him.
A number of other Republicans in the House are urging Fauci to testify before Congress in emails from US-funded research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and others.
Morgan Phillips and David Rutz of Fox News contributed to this report.