Biden Says He Jokes With His Wife That, By All Appearances, Fauci Is President

T.J. Kirkpatrick/Pool via REUTERS

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President Joe Biden said he jokes with First Lady Jill Biden that Dr. Anthony Fauci is “the president,” during his remarks Thursday at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Biden, who traveled to the NIH to share his plan to combat COVID-19 during the winter, began his remarks by recalling a previous trip to the NIH in February, praising doctors and researchers for the work they’ve done to “save lives” and “create vaccines” during the pandemic. He then added how medical professionals have continued giving him medical advice, as new developments surrounding the virus, namely the Omicron variant, begin to grip the country.


“I’ve seen more of Dr. Fauci than I have my wife,” Biden laughed. “We kid each other, but hey, look who’s president? Fauci. But all kidding aside, I sincerely mean it.”

Fauci, who serves as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in addition to being Biden’s chief medical advisor on COVID-19, has been praised by the media for his role in fighting the pandemic.

In addition to appearing on the July 2020 cover of InStyle Magazine, Fauci was profiled in a documentary shown in theaters and on streaming service Disney+ and was also the subject of a children’s book published by Simon & Schuster.

But despite much of the praise he’s received, Fauci and his position on COVID-19 have not been popular among conservatives. (RELATED: ‘I’m Over Dr. Fauci’: Meghan McCain Says Biden Admin Should ‘Put Someone Else In Place That Maybe Does Understand Science’)

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky criticized Fauci’s assertion that he “represents science” following a November appearance on “Face the Nation,” with Paul stating Fauci has “ignored natural immunity” to the virus and Cruz saying Fauci has “exercise[d] authoritarian control over millions of Americans.” (RELATED: Biden Claimed Trump ‘Muzzled’ Fauci — But Emails Reveal Fauci Said Otherwise)

Along with his COVID-19 policies, Fauci has been criticized for his ties to experimentation involving beagles and gain of function research at Wuhan Institute of Virology, and has been accused of lying to Congress after he said he was unaware of NIAID funding the gain of function research at the Wuhan lab.