When Fauci announced on Monday that he is stepping down in December from his post as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to "pursue the next chapter" of his career, the president praised Fauci's "unwavering" commitment to his work at the White House.
But many Americans cheered that the man sometimes referred to as "King Tony" will no longer be inflicting misery on the American population with his edicts dictating mask mandates, shot mandates, lockdowns, and who can be invited to Thanksgiving dinner.
Washington Times columnist Robert Knight counts himself among those who are more than happy to see Fauci exit the national scene. "Anthony Fauci is one of the most deceptive, dishonest people in public life at the top of the health pyramid calling the shots," he tells AFN.
But the columnist says Fauci's retirement shouldn't excuse him from an inquiry into his role in the pandemic.
"He ought to be prosecuted for the many lies he told, putting people at risk, probably costing lives. He more than anyone was responsible for downplaying the effectiveness of therapeutic approaches like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine that could have saved thousands of lives," Knight argues. "When is he going to be held accountable for that?"
Some analysts have speculated that Fauci chose to leave in December because he fears a Republican-controlled Congress will make him explain his actions next year. Clearly, the following sample of tweets Monday from Capitol Hill Republicans indicate the 50-years-plus federal employee will not escape that opportunity:
- "In January, a GOP Congress should hold Fauci fully accountable for his dishonesty, corruption, abuse of power, and multiple lies under oath. Never in our nation's history has one arrogant bureaucrat destroyed more people's lives." – Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
- "Fauci's resignation will not prevent a full-throated investigation into the origins of the pandemic. He will be asked to testify under oath regarding any discussions he participated in concerning the lab leak." – Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky)
- "Dr. Fauci lost the trust of the American people when his guidance unnecessarily kept schools closed and businesses shut while obscuring questions about his knowledge on the origins of COVID. He owes the American people answers. A @HouseGOP majority will hold him accountable." – House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California)
- "Retirement can't shield Dr. Fauci from congressional oversight. The American people deserve transparency and accountability about how government officials used their taxpayer dollars, and [House Oversight Republicans] will deliver." – Representative James Comer (R-Kentucky)
- "Republicans must remain committed to holding Fauci accountable even after he steps down to make sure no one in his position ever abuses the public trust again." – Representative Jim Banks (R-Indiana)