Washington (June 10, 2021) – As Republicans ratchet up their partisan calls to terminate Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious disease specialist and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today reintroduced The National Institutes of Health Director Protection Act, legislation that would ensure that Directors of Institutes are removable only for malfeasance, neglect of office, or incapacity – not for having differing views on policy. In 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump threatened to fire Dr. Fauci for expressing science-based positions that were politically inconvenient for the President. The protections outlined in this legislation would prevent presidential politics from excessively influencing a Director’s performance.
“Since the beginning of this public health crisis, Dr. Fauci and our leading scientists have helped our country navigate the science, data, and truth behind COVID-19. They have spoken truth to power in order to protect the health and safety of the American people, and never let dangerous political interests impact their decision-making. Republican efforts to disparage Dr. Fauci’s name and silence scientists are irresponsible and politically motivated,” said Senator Markey. “I am grateful for the Biden administration’s support for Dr. Fauci, but we must protect these positions from future attacks as we continue to see Republicans try to politicize scientists and truthtellers. That’s why my legislation will close the hole in the law that currently allows the President to fire a National Institutes of Health Director such as Dr. Fauci for any reason. Educating the public about the science and the facts that will save lives is not, and should never be, a firing offense.”
A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.

First appointed to his position in 1984, Dr. Fauci has led the agency, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), under six U.S. presidents, beginning with Ronald Reagan. President George W. Bush once said he had “absolute confidence” in Dr. Fauci and other health and scientific experts now leading the national response to the coronavirus outbreak. President Bush awarded Dr. Fauci the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.