NIH Director Collins says Trump never pressured him to fire Dr. Fauci

Dr. Francis Collins, the outgoing director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), says that he was never pressured by former President Donald Trump to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci from his post atop the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Fox News reports

The 71-year-old Collins just participated in an interview in which he was asked about his time under former President Donald Trump.

Coming clean

One thing that Collins was asked during the interview was whether he was ever told to fire Fauci.

“No, I was never asked to do that,” Collins said. “There were a lot of rumors flying around that that was about to happen.”

Collins continued:

I think I did in several instances say I would not be willing to do that. Here’s [Fauci] probably the most respected knowledgeable infectious disease expert in the world who is basically getting in hot water because he’s speaking the truth to people that don’t want to hear it? Is that a reason for me to relieve him of his job? No. I would not have been willing to do that. They would have had to fire me first.

Collins went on to praise Fauci further, saying that he “discharged his duties as a public servant in remarkable ways,” and Collins hit back at those attacking Fauci.

“My anchor is truth”

Collins also spoke about his own relationship with Trump.

“I was in hot water a few times,” Collins said. “I don’t think it ever came to the sort of sense of oh boy, I’m about to get that call. I got yelled at but I never got told you’re out of here.”

Collins went on to explain why he was never worried about getting fired by Trump.

“For me as a physician, as a scientist, also a person of faith, my anchor is truth,” he said. “If I’m sticking to the truth and am not willing to compromise for some other expedient reasons, I think I’m doing the right thing. You know, if I lose my job on account of standing up for the truth, OK, I should lose the job.”

So, it appears that we can now dispel these narratives.

Collins will officially retire from the NIH on Sunday.

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