White House Chief Medical Advisor Anthony Fauci, who announced yesterday he is retiring at the end of this year, told CNN today that he will consider cooperating with any Republican-led investigations into his actions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Asked if he would work with Republican members of Congress who plan to launch investigations after the midterm elections regardless of his retirement, Fauci suggested that, post-retirement, his cooperation would be contingent on the dignity of the proceeding, and seemed to suggest government oversight is optional while insisting that his retirement had nothing to do with the threat of investigations.
“Sure, I certainly would consider that,” said Fauci when asked if he would cooperate with Republicans. “But you’ve got to remember, I believe oversight is a very important of government structure.” He added that “it can be productive.”
“But what has happened up to now is more of a character assassination than it is oversight,” the 81-year-old doctor and 54-year government employee explained. “So sure, I’d be happy to cooperate, so long as we make it something that is a dignified oversight, as it should be.”
“I have nothing to hide and I can defend everything I’ve done.”
Earlier in the interview, Fauci stressed that his decision to step down while under threat of Republican investigations had been in the works since at least early 2021.
“My decisions of stepping down go back well over a year, I had decided I might want to step down at the end of the Trump administration.” However, Biden’s election put a damper on Fauci’s retirement plans.
“When President Biden was elected, one of the first things he did was to ask me to join and be his Chief Medical Advisor, which I took as a great honor”
Fauci previously indicated he planned to retire at the end of Biden’s term, citing the threat of Republican investigations miring his work.
The elderly doctor added that, post-retirement, he plans to “utilize” the “54 years experience I have at the NIH, including 38 years as the director of NIAID” in the private sector, “speaking, writing, lecturing, and interacting with the younger generation of scientists.”
Sen. Rand Paul, meanwhile, has promised that he still plans to launch investigations into Fauci despite his retirement.
“Fauci’s resignation will not prevent a full-throated investigations into the origins of the pandemic,” Paul wrote on Twitter. “He will be asked to testify under oath regarding any discussions he participated in concerning the lab leak.”
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