Fauci Addresses GOP Skepticism Regarding His Impending Retirement

Dr. Anthony Fauci announced this week that he would be stepping down from his roles as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and White House medical adviser at the end of the year.

“I will be leaving these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career,” he wrote in a statement released on Monday, adding that his years as a public health bureaucrat have “been the honor of a lifetime.”

The timing of his retirement sparked some speculation from a number of prominent Republican critics who opined that he is retiring just in time to avoid some difficult questions from a newly minted GOP congressional majority next year.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has been a frequent foe during Capitol Hill hearings throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, reacted to Fauci’s decision with resolve.

As the senator tweeted: “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.”

Paul elaborated on his position in a subsequent Fox News interview, asserting: “I think it’s no coincidence that he’s decided to step down right after the election. I think he, like many people, perceives that the Republicans will take over at least one house of Congress and that there will be an investigation into his wrongdoing.”

Another Kentucky Republican, U.S. Rep. James Comer, echoed Paul’s commitment to holding Fauci accountable. The congressman, who serves as his party’s ranking member on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, elaborated on his intentions during a recent interview with Newsmax.

He cited emails that the committee has received as evidence that Fauci has “changed his tune” regarding the origins of COVID-19.

“You’ll remember in the beginning, he said that no taxpayer dollars were going there, and they were not doing gain of function research, which now we know was not true,” Comer said, adding that “the big mystery” related to the pandemic remains how it developed and spread around the world.

During a CNN interview on Tuesday, Fauci shrugged off accusations that the possibility of a tough congressional hearing influenced his decision to retire in December.

“None at all, not even a slight amount,” he claimed. “I have nothing to hide and I can defend everything I’ve done, so that doesn’t faze me or bother me.”