White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday there is no circumstance where she could imagine President Biden ever firing Dr. Anthony Fauci as Republicans have ramped up their attacks on the president’s top medical adviser after thousands of his emails were made public this week.
"He’s overseen management of multiple global health crises, and attacks launched on him are certainly something we wouldn't stand by," Psaki said, adding that she wouldn’t have more to add on the matter.
"Can you imagine any circumstance where President Biden would ever fire him?" Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked.
"No," Psaki replied.
Republicans have ramped up calls to fire the White House medical adviser after thousands of his emails were unearthed this week.
President Biden, too, defended the nation's top infectious disease expert on Friday. "Yes, I am very confident in Dr. Fauci," he said.
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who serves as the top Republican on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, and House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer penned a letter to Democratic leaders on their committees demanding Fauci appear before their committees to testify on the origins of Covid-19.
"The emails contain new evidence regarding the origins of COVID-19, including the possibility it leaked from a U.S. taxpayer-funded laboratory," they wrote.
They also demanded "unredacted versions of all of Dr. Fauci’s recently released emails."
"Your continued inaction while facing mounting evidence of the CCP’s malicious conduct is concerning," they wrote.
At the same time, Fox News has confirmed that State Department officials seeking transparency from the Chinese government say they were explicitly told by colleagues not to explore the WIV’s gain-of-function research because it would bring unwelcomed attention to U.S. government funding of it.
In one email, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins sent Fauci a link to a Fox News report that gave credence to the theory coronavirus could have originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology with the subject line "conspiracy gains momentum." Fauci's response is entirely redacted.
In a Feb. 1, 2020, email, immunologist Kristian Andersen wrote to Fauci arguing the virus had "unusual features" that could suggest lab manipulation. Andersen and his team then looked into the theory further, and their studies showed the virus was not a "laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus," according to the emails.
Another email came to Fauci from Peter Daszak, who runs EcoHealth, which received millions in grants from the NIH it later paid to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to study the risk that bat coronaviruses could infect humans. Daszak thanked Fauci for downplaying the lab leak theory.
Fauci has since said he is "keeping an open mind" about the virus's origins.