Politics

Jen Psaki smacks down Fox reporter pushing latest conspiracy theory about Anthony Fauci

Jen Psaki smacks down Fox reporter pushing latest conspiracy theory about Anthony Fauci
Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a Press Briefing, Wednesday June 2, 2021, in the James S. Brady White House Press Briefing Room. (Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith)Photo: White House

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki cheerfully smacked down a Fox reporter who accused National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci of lying about research the U.S. was funding in China on coronaviruses.

Republicans have been calling for Fauci to be fired ever since he criticized the Trump administration for not implementing measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic in April 2020. Fauci has promoted social distancing, mask-wearing, and vaccination over the last two years, measures that many conservatives oppose.

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The hatred has led to death threats and Fauci has had to get a security detail.

The latest of many calls to have him fired came this week as Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said that Fauci lied to Congress when he said that the National Institute of Health (NIH) didn’t fund “gain-of-function” research in Wuhan, China related to COVID-19. Conservatives believe that this research that was conducted under the Obama and Trump administrations engineered the current COVID-19 virus and led to the pandemic.

Peter Doocy of Fox News asked Psaki today about that, saying Fauci “misled Congress” and asking if President Joe Biden now wants to fire Fauci.

“First, I would say that NIH has refuted that reporting,” Psaki responded. “But let me give you some highlights.”

“NIH never approved any research that would make the coronavirus more dangerous to humans,” she said.

She reminded him that there are “previous and different coronaviruses than the existing one we are battling.”

“The body of science produced by this research demonstrates the bat coronavirus sequences published from that work that NIH supported were not COVID, the strain… COVID-2 strain, so what he said was correct,” she said, referring to the specific strain of coronavirus that caused the current pandemic, SARS-CoV-2.

“So his job is safe?” Doocy asked.

“Correct,” Psaki said.

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