REUTERS: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Dr. Anthony Fauci can ‘speak to his own defense of his emails’ sent from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding she didn't see a scenario where President Joe Biden would fire Fauci.
QUESTION: And you mentioned Dr. Fauci, there have been these emails that have come out through a FOIA request that make it seem like--we knew that he had his hands full at the time trying to figure out what to do. But it seems like there were times that he was saying one thing in email, and then coming to this microphone, and saying something else. If that is the case, and if that affected U.S. policy posture at the time, should he be held accountable?
PSAKI: Well, I've talked a little bit about Dr. Fauci and Dr. Fauci has been out doing several interviews himself and answering questions on these emails and questions that you all may have. Dr. Fauci is a renowned public servant, civil servant, I should say, career civil servant. He's overseen management of multiple global health crises and attacks and--and attacks launched on him are certainly something we wouldn't stand by.
I understand there's interest in the emails, he's answered a lot of questions on the emails. I don't think I'm going to have much more to add on them from here.
QUESTION: Do you think the attacks are political against Dr. Fauci?
PSAKI: I'm going to let Dr. Fauci speak to his own defensive his emails from 17 months ago before this president even took office.
QUESTION: Okay. And then, finally, does President Biden had a position on gain of function research?
PSAKI: Well, we have not, as Dr. Fauci has actually said repeatedly, we've never approved any funding for gain of function research in Wuhan. I know that's, I think, why you're asking the question. I believe some may have been approved or there was funding approved during the prior administration. There's a framework, I should say. This is not meant to be a criticism of funding and how it's approved through different NIH programs, but I would send you them to give more of an explanation of the funding mechanisms.
QUESTION: And since you mentioned Dr. Fauci again, can you imagine any circumstance where President Biden would ever fire him.
PSAKI: No. Go ahead.