Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday said Republican threats to analyze him if the GOP wins control of the House in November’s election weren’t a consider his decision to retire from government at the tip of the 12 months.
Fauci announced this week that he would step down from leading the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and as chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.
Fauci, the face of the federal government’s pandemic response through the Donald Trump and Biden administrations, has been vilified and threatened with violence for stressing vaccines and other public health safety measures.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy vowed to “hold [Fauci] accountable” if Republicans retake power within the House, accusing him of being accountable for closing schools and businesses through the height of COVID.
Dr. Fauci lost the trust of the American people when his guidance unnecessarily kept schools closed and businesses shut while obscuring questions on his knowledge on the origins of COVID.
He owes the American people answers. A @HouseGOP majority will hold him accountable.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 22, 2022
Fauci told CNN’s “Latest Day” his decision to retire had been an extended time coming.
“I even have nothing to cover and I can defend all the pieces I’ve done in order that doesn’t faze me or hassle me,” Fauci said. “My decisions of stepping down return well over a 12 months.”
Dr. Fauci might be stepping down as Director of NIAID and Chief White House Medical Adviser in December. He joins Latest Day for his first TV interview since making the announcement: pic.twitter.com/Og9qJKIqaE
— Latest Day (@NewDay) August 23, 2022
Other right-wing figures also seized on Fauci’s announcement to deliver a fresh thrashing.
Fox News personality Tucker Carlson called him a “dictator” and “a dangerous fraud, a person who has done things that in most countries, at most times in history, could be understood perfectly clearly to be very serious crimes,” in accordance with the Day by day Beast.
Carlson previously called the infectious-disease expert “an excellent shorter version of Benito Mussolini.”
Fauci told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins he welcomes oversight and would consider testifying before GOP-led committees, but said he’s only been subjected to “character assassination.”
“I’d be comfortable to cooperate as long as we make it something that could be a dignified oversight, which it needs to be, and never just bringing up ridiculous things and attacking my character,” he said. “That’s not oversight.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) used a Senate hearing earlier this 12 months to accuse Fauci of supporting National Institutes of Health funds for China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, positioned near the live animal market where COVID was first discovered in humans.
Fauci told CNN the coronavirus stays the most important public health threat.
“We’ve got to do higher than what we’ve done and hopefully we’ve learned essential lessons through this painful two-and-a-half-year experience that we’ve been through,” Fauci said.