Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that if former President Donald Trump finds himself in the White House again, he’ll resign from his post as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Fauci if he was confident that if Trump retook the White House in 2024 he could lead a successful response in another pandemic situation or similar public health emergency, and whether or not he himself would want to stay to be a part of it. The top medical adviser to President Joe Biden simply said “no” to the latter question, prompting a giggle from Acosta.
“Uh, well, ‘no,’ to the second question,” Fauci said when asked if he would remain in his post during a second Trump term.
“I think I knew the answer, but I had to ask,” Acosta replied as he started giggling.
“If you look at the history of what the response was during the administration, I think, you know at best you could say it wasn’t optimal, and I think just history will speak for itself about that,” Fauci continued, returning to the first part of Acosta’s question. “I don’t need to make any further comment on that, Jim. It’s not productive.”
“For sure,” he added after Acosta asked for clarification one more time that he would resign if Trump won the presidency again. (RELATED: Anthony Fauci Admits When He Might Finally Step Down)
Fauci, 81, has served under seven presidents spanning both major parties as head of the NIAID since 1984. Fauci and Trump have repeatedly clashed, including while the latter was still president, over how to best respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, which began during Trump’s last year in office.
Fauci’s popularity has waned with some audiences over the course of the pandemic, leading one commentator to seemingly joke that Fauci’s answer to Acosta amounted to a free campaign advertisement for a future Trump presidential run.