Dr. Anthony Fauci has become a household name as a top adviser to the White House on COVID-19, receiving widespread praise from many on the left for his cautious advice.
An increasing number of conservatives, however, are increasingly critical of his leadership — including U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who recently insisted that it is time for Fauci to go.
“The most likely origin”
During a Fox News appearance on Thursday, Cotton argued that residents of his state are losing confidence in the top White House medical adviser due to “his repeated evasions and misdirection and politicized advice.”
The Arkansas Republican went on to say that it has become clear that Fauci’s position has changed over time, specifically his stance on the origins of the virus.
“We now know that is by far the most likely origin for this virus,” Cotton said of a state-run lab in Wuhan, China, according to Fox. “Dr. Fauci appears to have focused more on protecting his agency, which was funding research in those labs and protecting his friends among the Chinese scientists working at those labs, than trying to get the truth for the American people.”
He is not the only Senate Republican openly calling for Fauci to resign or be fired from his position as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) made a similar call last week, tweeting: “Anthony Fauci’s recently released emails and investigative reporting about [COVID-19] origins are shocking.”
“Now is his chance”
In a recent op-ed, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) expressed the same sentiment, asserting that Fauci “dismissed the idea that the virus could have come from a lab,” labeling the position “a massive failure in judgment for a prominent public health official.”
Rubio went on to issue a challenge to the president, writing: “During the campaign, Biden said, I’ll choose science over fiction. Now is his chance to make good on that promise and fire Dr. Fauci.”
The recent release of emails to and from Fauci during the early months of the pandemic revealed other inconsistencies between his public and private remarks.
In one email, he acknowledged that the drug hydroxychloroquine had been shown to possibly be effective against COVID-19 in studies conducted in the U.S. and China. Of course, he downplayed such potential benefits when the drug was being touted by then-President Donald Trump.
“The answer is no,” Fauci said during a press conference in March 2020. “The evidence you’re talking about…is anecdotal evidence. The information that you’re referring to specifically is anecdotal. It was not done in a controlled clinical trial. So you really can’t make any definitive statement about it.”