In an interview with MSNBC broadcast Tuesday evening, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that he hopes to keep his job so that he can continue working on ending the coronavirus pandemic, The Independent reported.
The longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has served as a key adviser on national health crises under six presidential administrations, but he seems to have attracted the ire of President Donald Trump.
Trump has repeatedly criticized Fauci, casting doubt on his expertise. At a recent rally, he embraced anti-Fauci chants and floated firing the nation’s top infectious diseases experts after the election.
But Trump is all but certain to leave the White House on January 20, being that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been projected as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
During a wide-ranging conversation with anchor Andrew Mitchel, Fauci said that removing him from his post would not in any way help the United States tackle COVID-19.
“I don’t think that would be helpful to the common goal of all of us, no matter who you are, regardless of administration. We all want this pandemic to end,” he stated.
Fauci stressed that he is fully dedicated to fighting the unprecedented public health crisis.
“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.”
“I’ve been doing it for many, many years, and I’ve done it under many different circumstances including six administrations,” he noted.
Fauci welcomed Pfizer’s progress in developing a COVID-19 vaccine, saying that he trusts both the pharmaceutical company and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
If the FDA approves of the vaccine and deems it safe, Fauci said, he will personally take it and advise members of his family to get vaccinated as well.
Following a series of trials, Pfizer announced earlier this week that its vaccine is over 90 percent effective at stopping COVID-19. The company also said that it hopes to manufacture enough doses for up to 20 million people by the end of 2020.
“I think we can see light at the end of the tunnel,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said in a statement.
It remains to be clear whether Trump will follow through on his promise to fire Fauci, but Biden has indicated that the expert would participate in his administration’s efforts, per BBC.