President Joe Biden said on Friday he is ‘very confident’ in Dr. Anthony 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.
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
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.
In the 3,200 pages of his redacted emails, Fauci cast doubt on the theory the coronavirus leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China, and offered guidance on face masking he would later reverse.
The White House has defended him 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.
White House officials, including press secretary Jen Psaki, have been defending Fauci as he comes under attack from Republicans
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.
In particular, they focused on an email exchange about the origins of COVID.
In a Feb. 1, 2020 email, immunologist Kristian Andersen wrote to Fauci stating that the virus had limited ‘unusual features’ that might suggest manipulation in a lab.
‘On a phylogenetic tree the virus looks totally normal and the close clustering with bats suggest that bats serve as the reservoir,’ Andersen wrote. ‘The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (<0.1%) so one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.’
One email sent to Fauci on April 16, 2020 by Francis Collins, the director of the National Institute of Health, under the subject line ‘conspiracy gains momentum’ contained a link to a news story highlighting a Fox News report that the theory the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan had merit.
Fauci’s response to Collins is entirely blacked 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.’
Fauci told CNN 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.’