Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is calling for Dr. Anthony Fauci to resign from his post following the controversy ignited by the release of emails from the nation's top epidemiologist regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Hawley is also demanding an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
"Anthony Fauci's recently released emails and investigative reporting about #COVID19 origins are shocking," Hawley stated on Friday, and called for him to step down as the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "The time has come for Fauci to resign and for a full congressional investigation into the origins of #COVID19 - and into any and all efforts to prevent a full accounting."
"The public deserves to know if persons within the US govt tried to stop a full investigation into #COVID origins, as recently reported," the Republican Senator of Missouri said. "And Congress must also find out to what extent Fauci's NIAID was involved in financing research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology."
The public deserves to know if persons within the US govt tried to stop a full investigation into #COVID origins, a… https://t.co/oh4Wxcp8rU— Josh Hawley (@Josh Hawley)1622814507.0
More than 3,200 pages of Fauci's emails were made public via a Freedom of Information Act request from BuzzFeed News and the Washington Post. There are numerous concerns regarding Fauci's emails, including his opposition to wearing face masks at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are also questions whether Fauci colluded with other top health officials to bury the theory that coronavirus was created in a lab and escaped.
Hawley is demanding a full congressional investigation into the origins of coronavirus. Fauci had been saying that the coronavirus naturally evolved, and dismissed the lab leak theory. But then in late May, Fauci reversed course and called for an investigation into COVID-19's origins and acknowledged the coronavirus pandemic was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Fauci was asked if he still believed that coronavirus developed naturally, to which he responded, "No, I'm not convinced about that. I think that we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we find out to the best of our ability exactly what happened."
Others have called for an investigation into the origins of coronavirus, including 18 high-profile scientists who published a letter calling for an inquiry to "determine the origin of the pandemic," noting that "theories of accidental release from a lab and zoonotic spillover both remain viable."
"Knowing how COVID-19 emerged is critical for informing global strategies to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks," the scientists proclaimed.
There are also 209 House Republicans demanding a congressional investigation into the origin of coronavirus, and to see if the Chinese Communist Party attempted to cover it up. Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.), the top Republican on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) demanding a probe.
"We request that you instruct the appropriate Democrat committee chairs to immediately join Republican calls to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its role in causing the global COVID-19 pandemic," the letter reads. "There is mounting evidence the pandemic started in a Chinese lab, and the CCP covered it up. If that is the case, the CCP is responsible for the deaths of almost 600,000 Americans and millions more worldwide."
Vanity Fair published a bombshell report this week following months of investigating, which found "conflicts of interest" including large U.S. government grants "supporting controversial virology research, known as 'gain-of-function.'" Vanity Fair investigative reporter Katherine Eban claimed the conflicts of interest "hampered" the investigation into the coronavirus origins by the United States government.
As far as Fauci being fired, the White House said he's going nowhere and called him "a renowned public servant."
White House press secretary Jen Psaki declared there was no circumstance under which President Joe Biden would fire Fauci, who is the president's chief medical adviser.
"He's overseen the management of multiple global health crises and attacks launched on him are certainly something we wouldn't stand by," Psaki said on Friday. "I understand there's interest in the emails. He's answered a lot of questions on the emails, I don't think I'm gonna have much more to add on them from here."
"The President and the administration feel that Dr. Fauci has played an incredible role in getting the pandemic under control, being a voice to the public throughout the course of this pandemic," Psaki said during Thursday's White House press briefing. "And, again, I would reiterate a lot of these emails are from 17 months ago or more, certainly predating this administration, but some time ago in — as we look to history."