- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that he hopes he remains director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in light of President Trump recently hinting about maybe firing him.

The infectious disease expert and longtime head of the NIAID added that he believes he does a good job fighting the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic and wants to remain committed to combating it.

“I don’t think that that would be helpful to what our common goal of all of us are, no matter who you are, regardless of what administration,” Dr. Fauci, 79, said about potentially being fired.

“We all want this pandemic to end. My entire activity, every minute of my life right now, is devoted to trying to end this pandemic, so I would hope that I’m allowed to continue to do that because I think I do it well,” Dr. Fauci said on MSNBC. “I’ve been doing it for many, many years, and I’ve done it under many different circumstances, including six administrations.”

Mr. Trump has clashed often with Dr. Fauci throughout the pandemic over the doctor’s handling of COVID-19, the contagious disease caused by the coronavirus, and recently teased removing him from atop NIAID.

When chants of “Fire Fauci” broke out during a rally held for Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign earlier this month, the president reacted by hinting at potentially following through after Election Day.

“Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election,” Mr. Trump told supporters at the rally. “I appreciate the advice.”

Several news outlets on Saturday subsequently projected Democratic challenger Joseph R. Biden to have defeated Mr. Trump in last week’s presidential election. Mr. Trump has not conceded and is pursuing legal challenges or threatening to in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Michigan.

Appearing on MSNBC, Dr. Fauci said he remains focused on fighting the coronavirus pandemic despite the possibility of the current president taking him off the job.

“I’m focusing like a laser beam on the job I have of ending this epidemic and really preserving the health and the welfare of the American public,” Dr. Fauci said.

More than 10 million Americans — including Mr. Trump and multiple members of his administration — have contracted COVID-19 since the outbreak erupted in China late last year and soon spread worldwide.

More than 239,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 3.9 million have recovered. The U.S. has a population of almost 330 million.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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