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White House says disease expert Fauci not on chopping block

The White House says that talk of US President Donald Trump wanting to fire the government’s top medical specialist in the coronavirus crisis, Anthony Fauci, is “ridiculous.”

Rumors that Fauci could get the axe — as a vocal group of Trump’s right-wing supporters wants — accelerated on Sunday when the president retweeted a criticism of the doctor with the hashtag #FireFauci.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, in Washington, April 8, 2020. (Alex Brandon/AP)

“This media chatter is ridiculous – President Trump is not firing Dr. Fauci,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley says in a statement.

“Dr. Fauci has been and remains a trusted adviser to President Trump.”

Fauci is widely considered one of the most trusted faces in the Trump administration’s fight against the pandemic. As a longtime expert in similar health crises, Fauci is winning plaudits for his no-nonsense and apolitical interviews with the media.

— AFP

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