GOVERNMENT

Can President Trump fire Dr. Fauci? Not really

Nov 3, 2020, 4:52 PM | Updated: 4:53 pm
Fauci mask mandate...
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci wears a face mask as he waits to testify before a House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the Trump administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)
(Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — At a campaign rally for President Donald Trump Sunday in South Florida, the crowd chanted: “Fire Fauci! Fire Fauci!”

“Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election,” Mr. Trump told his supporters. “I appreciate the advice. He’s a nice man, though. He’s been wrong on a lot.”

Fire Fauci? Hard to do

Because Anthony Fauci, 79, is a career civil servant, and not a political appointee, he is protected by law from political retaliation. But the president can remove him from the White House coronavirus task force.

Fauci has advised six presidents on HIV/AIDS and other domestic and global health issues.

Last month, Fauci was named Federal Employee of the Year during the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies), highlighting the work of employees making important contributions to the US government.

“Tony is without peer in the world of global health as an authoritative, experienced and candid figure,” said former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, who was the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush, who awarded Fauci the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

As director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, Fauci is protected by federal civil-service regulations, which shield him from termination or demotion for political reasons.

Mr. Trump could pressure Fauci’s boss, Dr. Francis Collins, or Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to fire the doctor.

Protections for civil servants

The civil-service protections require a government agency to show evidence that there is a just cause for being fired, including failure to follow orders or misconduct.

“I’ve got a better idea. Elect me and I’m going to hire Dr. Fauci! And we’re going to fire Donald Trump!” former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday during a campaign rally in Cleveland. 

Speaking at a rally Monday in Atlanta on behalf of Biden, former President Barack Obama ripped Mr. Trump’s suggestion of ousting Fauci, who is “the one person who can actually help them [Trump administration] contain” the coronavirus pandemic.

“One of the few people in this administration who’s been taking this seriously all along — and what’d he say? His second-term plan is to fire that guy,” Mr. Obama said.

In an interview Friday with The Washington Post, Fauci said he hasn’t spoken with Mr. Trump since he called him from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center during his COVID-19 treatment. While there, the president tweeted this:

 

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 231,263 Americans.

Today’s Top Stories

Government

Utah Republicans are looking to ban transgender surgeries and other hormone-based care....
Mark Jones

Utah to receive additional $4.9 million from FEMA in response to COVID-19

FEMA has announced Utah will receive an additional $4.9 million to help with the housing costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
3 days ago
...
Curt Gresseth

Former U.S. Attorney for Utah talks about what FBI can take off your cellphone

A legal expert joined Dave and Dujanovic to discuss how the FBI can obtain evidence of a crime from a cellphone.
3 days ago
mini-bottles Utah liquor store...
Elizabeth Weiler

“Mini-bottles” could return to Utah state liquor stores

Mini-bottles haven't been on Utah state liquor store shelves for more than two decades. A public hearing will be held on the proposal.
3 days ago
The Biden administration is preparing for the possibility of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, left, and Flor...
MJ Lee, CNN White House correspondent

Biden administration prepares for Abbott and DeSantis to send more migrants to Democratic cities

The Biden administration is readying for more migrants to be sent to Democratic cities.
3 days ago
Gov. Cox mental health...
Mark Jones

Utah National Guard to host 67th annual Governor’s Day

The 67th annual Governor's Day will be held Saturday by the Utah National Guard at Camp Williams.
4 days ago
design...
Samantha Herrera

Semifinalists for the new Utah flag design unveiled

The finalists for the new Utah state flag are on display at the Utah State Capitol, as well as in Logan and Cedar City through Oct. 5.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Can President Trump fire Dr. Fauci? Not really