The coronavirus taskforce’s infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, said he hopes Donald Trump doesn’t fire him following veiled threats from the president during pre-election campaign rallies.
In an interview with MSNBC, Mr Fauci was asked if he had any concerns that the president was pressuring the National Institutes of Health to fire him in the near future.
“I hope not,” Mr Fauci responded. “I don’t think that would be helpful to the common goal of all of us, no matter who you are, regardless of administration. We all want this pandemic to end.”
Crowds erupted in chants of “fire Fauci” at a campaign rally in the days leading up to the 3 November election. The president responded by saying Mr Fauci was a “nice guy” but had gotten a lot of things wrong during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election,” Mr Trump said to the crowd chanting “fire Fauci”.
“I appreciate the advice.”
Mr Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke to MSNBC host Andrew Mitchel at length about the importance of implementing mask and social distancing measures to control the pandemic, while also expressing his confidence in the Pfizer vaccine.
“My entire activity, every minute of my life right now is devoted to trying to end this pandemic, so I would hope that I’m allowed to continue to do that because I think I do it well,” he said.
“I’ve been doing it for many, many years, and I’ve done it under many different circumstances including six administrations.”
On the coronavirus vaccine, Mr Fauci said he trusts Pfizer and the US Food and Drug Administration and he would take it himself if approved for use.
“If they look at this data, and they say this data is solid let’s go ahead and approve it, I promise you I will take the vaccine and I will recommend that my family take the vaccine.”