(USA Features) Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in an op-ed published Thursday that he believes it’s time for the nation’s top immunologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, to retire because he “has become too absorbed in defending the indefensible.”
Writing in the Washington Times, Gingrich, a former Republican lawmaker from Georgia, praised 80-year-old Fauci’s “remarkable career” and public service including when he “supervised a remarkable range of research including HIV/AIDS in the 1980s.”
Noting that Fauci “has been a leading researcher” who has saved lives as well as “a leading health administrator” who has overseen the expenditure of billions of “taxpayer dollars on groundbreaking research” since taking over the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1984, he “was one of the most effective, indeed brilliant medical researchers of the last century.”
But, Gingrich continued, “he is now so absorbed in defending the indefensible that he can best serve the country by stepping down.”
The former House Speaker said that Fauci predicted “his own problems” in an article for the American Society for Microbiology published Oct. 9, 2012.
“Written in true scientific fashion, the average citizen is unlikely to read a short study entitled ‘Research on Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Influenza Virus: The Way Forward,'” Gringrich wrote.
“This article from nearly nine years ago predicted the kind of problem that might be posed by scientific research on a dangerous, highly contagious virus that could potentially spread rapidly as a pandemic with devastating consequences,” he continued.
Gingrich added that the science community knew that researching highly contagious viruses “was a dangerous practice,” adding that when Fauci wrote his piece “a moratorium on this kind of research” was in place that had been “imposed by the researchers themselves.”
“His comments add up to a tragic forecast of what was not done, and a condemnation of the path taken at the Wuhan Institute of Virology – even though Dr. Fauci and his team were supposedly monitoring and funding the Chinese lab,” wrote Gingrich, going on to add a quote from Fauci’s piece.
“In an unlikely but conceivable turn of events, what if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic?” Fauci wrote.
“Many ask reasonable questions: given the possibility of such a scenario— however remote—should the initial experiments have been performed and/or published in the first place, and what were the processes involved in this decision?” the immunologist continued.
Gingrich said Fauci acknowledged then that in dealing with a potential global pandemic it could “kill millions, incur enormous dislocations in the economy, and impose extraordinary restrictions on citizens.”
Fauci wrote in 2012 that any “potential benefits and risks of these experiments must be discussed and understood by multiple stakeholders, including the general public, and all decisions regarding such research must be made in a transparent manner.”
Gingrich used that quote to point out that Fauci was aware “decisions that affect billions of people cannot be made by scientists on their own.”
“He warned his fellow scientists in 2012, ‘We cannot expect those who have these concerns to simply take us, the scientific community, at our word that the benefits of this work outweigh the risks, nor can we ignore their calls for greater transparency, their concerns about conflicts of interest, and their efforts to engage in a dialog about whether these experiments should have been performed in the first place. Those of us in the scientific community who believe in the merits of this work have the responsibility to address these concerns thoughtfully and respectfully,'” Gingrich wrote, quoting the immunologist.
“Nine years ago, Dr. Fauci knew that pandemic-creating research required a new standard of transparency and candor,” Gingrich continued, quoting another passage from Fauci’s 2012 article in which he wrote that “influenza virus research community can no longer be the only player in the discussion of whether certain experiments should be done.”
“The principles Dr. Fauci had outlined were right. The practice which followed failed to meet those principles” regarding COVID-19, Gingrich observed.
Noting that the Chinese government can’t be trusted to be transparent — some theorize the novel coronavirus was the product of research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and escaped — Gingrich said that Fauci appeared to trust the Chinese anyway.
“Dr. Fauci and the U.S. government relied on Chinese promises of ‘doing the right thing.’ When the crisis broke, none of the research the American taxpayer paid for had been copied and placed in American hands,” wrote Gingrich.
“Just for trusting the Chinese dictatorship Dr. Fauci should retire,” he added.
“The failure to be honest from day one about American government involvement in the Wuhan laboratory would be a second reason for Dr. Fauci to resign. He should have briefed the President and Vice President, the Congress, and then the country on what we had funded in Wuhan,” the former Speaker added.
“Instead of the transparency, Dr. Fauci called for in his 2012 article, we got a cover-up, obfuscation, and argument. Even today, we really don’t know what happened to the money or what research it funded.
“By his own standards, Dr. Fauci has failed and should retire,” Gingrich concluded.