When Dr. Anthony Fauci announced he would be retiring in December, plenty of his critics expressed their belief that he was just trying to avoid answering tough questions when Republicans regain control of Congress next year.
He spoke out in his own defense during an interview on CNN, of all places.
As Newsmax reported:
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci told CNN Tuesday that the threat of potential Republican-led Congressional investigations in 2023 did not influence his decision to resign from the agency he has led since 1984.
“None at all, not even a slight amount,” Fauci said during a televised interview with CNN Tuesday. “I have nothing to hide, and I can defend everything I’ve done, so that doesn’t faze me or bother me.”
Fauci, who led the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic for both former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden, announced in a statement Monday that he would be stepping down in December after running the agency for 38 years.
Many Republican lawmakers and conservative pundits smelled something fishy in the wake of Fauci’s retirement announcement.
Fauci’s resignation will not prevent a full-throated investigation into the origins of the pandemic. He will be asked to testify under oath regarding any discussions he participated in concerning the lab leak.
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) August 22, 2022
🚨 Fauci just announced his resignation pic.twitter.com/LBycMX1j1E
— Dr. Eli David (@DrEliDavid) August 22, 2022
Fauci is stepping down in December to try and avoid scrutiny from a Republican House that will take over in January.
Understand this loud and clear, Anthony:
We are coming for you whether you retire or not. You will not get away with what you did to America.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) August 22, 2022
Jesse Watters: “Fauci must comply with every subpoena they slap on him, if not shackle him and raid his home for collusion with China. Those are the new rules, we are just playing the game.” pic.twitter.com/10Lm8FAE0g
— Real Mac Report (@RealMacReport) August 23, 2022
We should seize Fauci’s passport since we’re doing stuff like that now
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 22, 2022
Never forget that scientists told Fauci at the beginning of the pandemic the virus looked engineered, he then publicly covered up the lab leak theory, and was thanked for it by Peter Daszak from EcoHealth Alliance, the company through which Fauci’s NIH funded the Wuhan lab pic.twitter.com/9cRjCOkLTn
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 22, 2022
GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis weighed in on the topic with his thoughts about Fauci’s tainted legacy.
According to The Hill:
“I think he’s done a lot of damage,” DeSantis said on “Fox & Friends.” “I think he should have been gone long ago. And if you think about what he’s done with his arrogance, that’s part of the reason why he’s advocated policies that have been so destructive. He thinks people who disagree with him are somehow beneath him.”
DeSantis described Fauci as the “driving force” behind a laundry list of policies that the Florida governor has denounced, including masking requirements for schoolchildren and restrictions that “cost people jobs” and “destroyed” businesses.
DeSantis’s remarks came a day after Fauci announced that he would leave government service in December after more than five decades as a physician for the National Institutes of Health.
Here’s a clip from Fauci’s remarks: