OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has announced his retirement, as Republicans plan on investigating him if they win back the House. And he has finally answered the pertinent question, did that cause his retirement?
He appeared on CNN on Tuesday when Kaitlan Collins asked him if the possibility of a Republican investigation “had any role” in his decision to retire.
“None at all Kaitlan, none at all. Not even slight amount,” he responded. “I have nothing to hide and I can defend everything I’ve done so that doesn’t faze me or bother me.”
He said he had considered retiring at the end of former President Donald Trump’s administration, but when President Joe Biden asked him to be his chief medical adviser he “took it as a great honor” and decided to stay.
He said that he assumed the position would only lasty around a year but because COVID continued he continued in the job.
He said he believes COVID is manageable enough now for him to retire.
Collins then asked him if Republicans wanted him to testify after he retired “is that something you would do.”
He said he would cooperate with an investigation, but only under one condition.
“I would consider that,” he responded. “But what has happened up to now is more of a character assassination than it is oversight.”
“I’d be happy to cooperate so long as we make it something that is a dignified oversight, which it should be, and not just bringing up ridiculous things and attacking my character. That’s not oversight,” he said.
Fauci announced on Monday that he will be departing his roles as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and as chief medical officer to President Joe Biden at the end of this year.
“I am announcing today that I will be stepping down from the positions of Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, as well as the position of Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden. I will be leaving these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career,” Fauci said.
Biden released a statement praising Fauci, saying he had an “unwavering” commitment to the work and an “unparalleled spirit, energy, and scientific integrity.”
“Because of Dr. Fauci’s many contributions to public health, lives here in the United States and around the world have been saved. As he leaves his position in the U.S. Government, I know the American people and the entire world will continue to benefit from Dr. Fauci’s expertise in whatever he does next,” Biden said.
Biden added, “Whether you’ve met him personally or not, he has touched all Americans’ lives with his work. I extend my deepest thanks for his public service. The United States of America is stronger, more resilient, and healthier because of him.”
BREAKING: Dr. Anthony Fauci announces his resignation as NIAID director effective in December. pic.twitter.com/RJjmEUOK3p
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) August 22, 2022
The timing is interesting given Republicans have said they plan to launch an investigation into Fauci if they win back control of Congress in November’s midterm elections.
Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul said he plans to subpoena Fauci’s records if Republicans retake the Senate and he becomes chairman of a committee.
“If we win in November, if I’m chairman of a committee, if I have subpoena power, we’ll go after every one of [Fauci’s] records,” Paul said. “We’ll have an investigator go through this piece-by-piece because we don’t need this to happen again.”
Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan made similar comments, saying Republicans will “uncover” what Fauci knew about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
Republican Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall, an ally to Jordan, released Fauci’s financial records. The records appear to show that Fauci and his wife have a combined net worth of around $10 million.
Records also showed that Fauci and his wife were paid tens of thousands of dollars to attend four galas and ceremonies — three of them virtual — during the pandemic.
Jordan argued that these revelations and recently released emails prove there’s a “need to investigate Fauci.”