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Fauci is not expected to leave Trump administration or be fired: WaPo

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  • Dr. Fauci plans to remain in Trump administration despite heightening tensions with the White House, according to the Washington Post. 
  • Fauci’s blunt assessments of the COVID-19 have contrasted with Trump’s more optimistic and upbeat messaging for months. 
  • The Post reported that in addition to restricting Fauci’s media appearances, the White House circulated an opposition-research style document about him to reporters. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, still plans to remain at his post in the Trump administration despite heightening tensions with the White House, the Washington Post reported. 

Fauci, 79, is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health within the National Institute of Health and a member of the White House coronavirus task force. 

For months, Fauci’s blunt assessments of the pandemic and straightforward communication style have won him praise from the public. But his warnings about the pandemic have clashed with Trump’s messaging, which has largely downplayed the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States and projected optimism that the US can reopen. 

The Washington Post and New York Times reported that in an attempt to undercut Dr. Fauci, the White House has severely limited Fauci’s outside media appearances on television and circulated an opposition-research style document with attacks on Fauci’s credibility to reporters. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to worsen in the United States, with confirmed cases dramatically rising throughout the country and deaths beginning to climb again as well. As of Monday, there are 3.3 million confirmed cases and over 134,000 deaths from the disease. 

In his media appearances, Fauci has sounded the alarm about the outbreak’s trajectory and directly contradicted Trump. In an interview on FiveThirtyEight’s podcast, he said, “When you compare us to other countries, I don’t think you can say we’re doing great…I mean, we’re just not.”

In an interview with the Financial Times, Fauci refuted Trump’s July 4 comments that 99% of cases are “harmless.”

“I’m trying to figure out where the president got that number. What I think happened is that someone told him that the general mortality is about 1 percent. And he interpreted, therefore, that 99 percent is not a problem, when that’s obviously not the case,” Fauci said.

Fauci has not spoken with Trump since early June and does not regularly brief the president, the Post reported. 

But despite the increased clashes between Fauci and the White House, Fauci still “has no plans to abandon his post, which includes a critical role in the development of a coronavirus vaccine and treatments,” the Post said.

The Post also reported that Trump doesn’t plan to fire Fauci from his position at the NIH, noting that Fauci enjoys widespread, bipartisan support in Congress thanks to his more than 50 years of service in the federal government. 

As Matthew Tully, an attorney representing federal government employees, explained in FedSmith in late April, Fauci is a member of the Senior Executive Service within the federal government, whose members can only be fired for conditions, like misconduct or malfeasance, and have additional protections against being arbitrarily removed. 

Read more:

Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro claimed Dr. Fauci is ‘wrong about everything,’ as the White House seeks to discredit him on COVID-19

Fauci hasn’t met with Trump in more than a month and is being sidelined from TV appearances as the US coronavirus outbreak worsens

The White House stepped up its campaign against Fauci, circulating a list of times it said he was ‘wrong’ about COVID-19 in an attempt to discredit him

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