The White House declined to discuss newly revealed emails from Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday, defending the public health official who President Joe Biden elevated to a prominent position.
“The president and the administration feel that Dr. Fauci has played an incredible role in getting the pandemic under control, being a voice to the public throughout the course of the pandemic,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during the daily press briefing.
She declined to speak about some of the more controversial emails, arguing they were from the previous administration.
“It’s obviously not advantageous for me to re-litigate the substance of emails from 17 months ago,” Psaki said.
Fauci faces a number of questions about his early understanding on the effectiveness of masks, the origin and character of the coronavirus, and his guidelines for closing churches that have spread rapidly on social media.
Psaki signaled support for Fauci, despite Republicans calling for a criminal investigation of the public health official or for him to resign.
“We’ll let him speak for himself and he’s been an undeniable asset in our country’s pandemic response,” she said.
Since Fauci’s emails were released earlier this week by Buzzfeed and the Washington Post, critics of the doctor have poured over his thinking regarding the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
Fauci participated in several cable news interviews to defend his emails from early 2020, arguing that they were part of his evolving understanding of the pandemic.
“So something that you know in January—you make a recommendation or a comment about it,” he said in an MSNBC interview Thursday. “But as you get more and more information, the information leads you to change. Because that is what science is, it is a self-correcting process.”