Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading member of President Trump’s White House coronavirus task force, spoke with C-SPAN’s Steve Scully Monday night following the task force’s marathon daily briefing that ended shortly after 8 p.m. EDT. At the end of the interview Scully asked Fauci about the #FireFauci hashtag (retweeted by Trump) and whether he was concerned that the President might fire him. Fauci said, “I don’t think it’s going to happen,” adding that Trump is “fine” with him.
Fauci, 79, has served since 1984 as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH.
Video and transcript below:
Scully: “Dr. Fauci, we carried the briefing and your remarks at the top from the White House, but I have to ask you, when you saw the hashtag “Fire Fauci” what your immediate reaction yesterday?”
Fauci: “Well, you know, (chuckles) this is the world we live in. You’re gonna see things like that all the time. Um, I, I think that was as the result of an answer to a question that I was given by uh, a reporter–that was a valid question, it was a hypothetical question–somebody didn’t like the way I answered it so they hashtagged it “Fire Fauci”. That’s, that’s it, that’s the world we live in. I accept it. Doesn’t bother me”
Scully: “But can the President fire you?”
Fauci: “Uh, well it depends on what you mean by fire me. Uh, I’m on the task force serving at his pleasure. Uh, he can remove me from the task force. I was with him for quite awhile today, he has no intention of doing that.”
Scully: “If for any reason though you did leave, is there a plan in place to have somebody, the continuity that you have provided, to take on any duties if that were to happen?”
Fauci: “You know, I don’t think it’s going to happen, I really don’t. But obviously if it does I’m sure they’ll get, there’s a lot of competent people around. I’m sure they can get somebody to do that.”
Scully: “Did you have a conversation with the President tonight about this?”
Fauci: “No, he said we’re fine. I mean, he, you know, he, he saw that. I walked in I had a chat with him and he’s fine.”
Transcribe by TGP.