It’s time for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to replace its long-time head, Dr. Anthony Fauci, suggested a former NIAID ethics officer and whistleblower.
Speaking with journalist John Solomon of Just the News, Dr. Jonathan Fishbein says the institute needs “new blood” and “fresh perspectives” going forward.
“It’s important that government bring in fresh perspectives, fresh ideas, younger people, you know, and people don’t get so entrenched, the bureaucracy doesn’t get entrenched for decades,” Fishbein said.
Facts mixed with opinion
In reference to Fauci’s numerous media interviews about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Fishbein said that “it seems like [Fauci] doesn’t stick to facts. I think he is in front of the microphone a whole lot, he is doing so many interviews and he doesn’t stick to the facts.”
Fishbein added that Fauci sometimes “mixes opinion in there, and I don’t think that that’s particularly appropriate.”
Formerly the Director of the Office for Policy in Clinical Research Operations for the AID’s Division of the NIAID, Fishbein was fired between 2004-2005 in retaliation for blowing the whistle on ethics concerns. After his complaints were validated, he was reinstated. During the interview, he went on to discuss several older ethical controversies from within the agency — listen to the full podcast here.
Notably, Fauci has served as the director of the NIAID for more than 30 years, and hasn’t given any indication that he is ready to move on.
Top coronavirus advisor
Along with heading the NIAID, Dr. Fauci has become the face of the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic — a position which has drawn both grateful praise and fierce criticism. President Donald Trump does not always agree with Fauci, but has maintained overall that he values Fauci’s advice and has a good relationship with him.
Media-fueled rumors of a Trump-Fauci rift swirled last month after Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro launched an attack on Fauci, accusing him of “wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.”
However, a White House spokesperson clarified that Navarro’s criticism was not representative of the administration, adding, “[Trump] values the expertise of the medical professionals advising his Administration.”
Fauci won’t step down
In a mid-July interview with The Atlantic, Fauci made it clear that he had no intention of stepping aside. Asked if he had given any thought to heeding the calls for his resignation, Fauci said, “No. I think the problem is too important for me to get into those kinds of thoughts and discussions. I just want to do my job. I’m really good at it. I think I can contribute. And I’m going to keep doing it.”
As of now, unless President Donald Trump decides to fire him, it doesn’t look like Fauci will be removed from his leadership role anytime soon.