The National Institute of Health outgoing director has spoken of political badgering from the very top to back unproven remedies for the COVID-19 virus. He also spoke of Republican pressure to fire the chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Dr. Collins, who retires on Sunday, said that Trump exerted pressure on him to agree to his suggestion. But Francis Collins says that he refused and would rather have resigned than allow Trump to coerce him to go for remedies not proven by science.
Francis Collins said that he had done everything possible to stay away from partisan and political debates as medical science has no place in such an atmosphere. He said that he wouldn’t want to erode scientific principles merely to hold on to a job.
During his tenure, Trump frequently endorsed a handful of products and remedies claiming that they could cure COVID-19. He had vouched for hydroxychloroquine and even spoke about it on television. He even claimed to have tried it on himself.
But medical specialists and the FDA trashed its effectiveness and even warned about the possibility of severe side effects. The drug, along with chloroquine was removed from the list of drugs deemed effective against the virus.
Francis Collins Also Spoke Of Other Republicans Forcing Him To Oust Dr. Fauci
Francis Collins says he also faced pressure from the Republican camp to Dr. Fauci, who was the greatest infectious disease expert in the world. It was just out of political considerations, he says.
Dr. Fauci faced attack from the Republicans, including then-President Donald Trump for his allegedly cautious approach.
Dr. Collins says that one thing that continues to puzzle him is the refusal of around 60M citizens who refuse to go for the vaccine. He says that will such compelling evidence present of its efficacy, it is unimaginable that anyone would refuse to go for it.