Rob Crilly, Daily Mail
A federal watchdog cleared Dr. Anthony Fauci of breaching rules designed to prevent civil service employees engaging in political activities after a conservative group complained he criticized President Trump‘s handling of the COVID pandemic days before the 2020 election.
Protect the Public’s Trust claimed Fauci violated the Hatch Act during an interview with the Washington Post.
In its complaint, the group said the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases criticized Trump and praised then presidential candidate Joe Biden.
It said the OSC noted that the statement came just days before the election and stated that it ‘generally advises employees that it is best not to discuss candidates for partisan political office when speaking in their official capacity.
While ultimately finding no technical violation, the OSC’s Deputy Chief conceded that the Washington Post author ‘may have written it from a particular perspective and tried to use Dr. Fauci’s words to make a political point.