Amid mounting evidence that COVID-19 originated in a state-run Chinese lab, Dr. Anthony Fauci appears to find himself in hot water.
Critics want Fauci, who serves as the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to be fired after he acknowledged the Wuhan Institute of Virology indirectly received U.S. taxpayer funding.
Fauci fatigue spreads
Republicans increased pressure on him to resign — of for Congress to relieve him of his duties — this week.
The infectious disease expert also serves as the chief White House medical adviser under President Joe Biden, a position from which his detractors also want to see him removed.
A group of Republican lawmakers has advanced the Fauci Incompetence Requires Early Dismissal — or FIRED — Act in an effort to see Fauci removed from office. That movement has grown in the wake of new revelations concerning U.S. funding of Chinese research.
Early last month, U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) revealed that former President Barack Obama’s administration funneled $1.1 million to the Wuhan lab for coronavirus research as part of a partnership with the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance and administered by the National Institutes of Health.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and others have pressed Fauci to reveal whether the U.S. cash was used to fund “gain-of-function” research, which can enhance the transmissibility of viruses.
“Long past time”
Reschenthaler slammed Fauci during a recent Fox News Channel interview, particularly over his shifting advice over the course of the pandemic.
“It is long past time for Dr. Fauci to stop talking to the American public,” he said. “Fauci should resign or be fired immediately.”
While Fauci initially joined the majority of medical experts by asserting that the virus likely originated as a result of animal-to-human transmission, he has recently softened his take substantially.
When one reporter asked if he still believed in the theory that COVID-19 spread naturally, he replied: “No, actually. I am not convinced about that. I think we should continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened.”
In light of his newfound skepticism, Chinese officials are apparently also upset with Fauci, airing messages via state-run media slamming his belief in the “old and groundless narrative that the virus was leaked from a lab in Wuhan.”