Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) announced on Tuesday that he would formally introduce legislation to protect National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and other directors at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from getting improperly fired by President Donald Trump.
Markey said he was spurred to action after Trump retweeted a post claiming it was “time” to fire Fauci, who currently serves on the White House’s COVID-19 task force.
“We cannot allow Donald Trump to silence Dr. Fauci or any other government scientists. Now more than ever, we must listen to our public health, medical, and scientific experts,” the Democratic senator said. “If Donald Trump doesn’t like science-based evidence because it doesn’t support his partisan, fact-free view of the world, he cannot be permitted to silence the truth-tellers.”
Trump had retweeted a post on Sunday railing against Fauci for saying that deaths caused by the coronavirus outbreak could have been prevented had the federal government acted sooner. The post was hashtagged with “#FireFauci.”
The next day, White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley said the doctor “remains a trusted advisor” to Trump and that there are no plans to remove him.
For his part, Fauci seemed confident on Monday night that Trump wasn’t going to give him the ax.
“I was with him for quite a while today,” the doctor said during an interview on C-Span’s Washington Journal. “He has no intention of doing that.”
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