WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Monday that President Donald Trump was not firing U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci despite his retweet of a supporter’s #FireFauci message.

“This media chatter is ridiculous – President Trump is not firing Dr. Fauci,” said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley. “Dr. Fauci has been and remains a trusted adviser to President Trump.”

Trump on Sunday retweeted a former Republican congressional candidate’s tweet that was critical of comments Fauci made in a CNN interview and contained a call for his firing. Fauci, 79, has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chris Reese)

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