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What Donald Trump Answered When Asked Why He Didn’t Fire Fauci

In an interview with Fox News, Trump revealed that he was not ‘allowed to fire’ Fauci despite their differences in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Fox News on Wednesday, September, 6,2023, Trump acknowledged that he wouldn’t typically let such restrictions stop him, but in this case, he was unable to take that action. He also noted that he had limited interaction with Fauci during his time in office.

Trump’s working relationship with Dr. Fauci was marked by disagreements over pandemic response strategies. While Trump stated that he “listened” to Fauci, he often chose to go in the opposite direction when it came to implementing Fauci’s recommendations.

These disagreements extended to topics like travel restrictions, mask-wearing, and the closing of the country’s borders to China and Europe early in the pandemic.

Despite these differences, Trump did not remove Fauci from his position. He believed that firing Fauci would have been a “no-win situation.” In contrast, Fauci suggested that Trump’s dissemination of COVID-19 misinformation might have had detrimental effects on public health.

It’s essential to note that, technically, President Trump did not have the direct authority to fire Dr. Fauci due to federal law.

The 1881 Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act established civil servant protections, preventing the removal of career civil servants like Fauci without valid justification, such as poor performance or failure to follow orders. These protections were put in place to maintain a merit-based civil service system and prevent political interference.

Even if Trump had sought to dismiss Fauci, it would have involved officials like the HHS Secretary or NIH Director, with potential avenues for Fauci to appeal. The processes in place aimed to protect individuals with expertise and trustworthiness in their roles, like Fauci.

President Trump had disagreements with Dr. Anthony Fauci over COVID-19 responses, he did not have the direct authority to fire him due to established civil servant protections. This highlights the importance of maintaining a merit-based system in government, even during times of disagreement between leadership and career experts.

Jake Massey
Jake Massey
Journalist at the Medialinker Group
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