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Collins Discusses Political Pressures

Francis Collins, who recently stepped down as director of the US National Institutes of Health, tells CBS Sunday Morning that he was pressured during the Trump Administration to promote unproven COVID-19 treatments.

According to CBS, Collins faced political pressure to endorse treatments like hydroxychloroquine, which were promoted by the Trump Administration, and that by not doing so he "got a bit of a talking-to" from President Donald Trump. He also was pushed to fire National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci.

"Can you imagine a circumstance where the director of the NIH, somebody who believes in science, would submit to political pressures and fire the greatest expert in infectious disease that the world has known, just to satisfy political concerns?" he tells CBS.

Collins also discusses at NPR the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and says the US could see 1 million daily infections due to the Omicron variant. He further urges people to stay vigilant. "I know people are tired of this," he tells NPR. "I'm tired of it too, believe me. But the virus is not tired of us. It's having a great old time changing its shape every couple of months, coming up with new variants and figuring out ways to be even more contagious."