President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, listen as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony S. Fauci delivers remarks during a coronavirus update briefing Thursday, April 16, 2020.
Source – Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks, Public Domain
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said on Monday that he intended to leave government service in December to “pursue the next chapter” of his career.
Fauci, who serves as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the past 38 years, and chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation.
Fauci’s service started under President Ronald Reagan’s administration, a role in which he helped lead the US response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, as well as the West Nile virus, the anthrax attacks, pandemic influenza, various bird influenza threats, Ebola and Zika.
He became one of the most public faces of the federal response to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. As the Associated Press said, not only did Dr. Fauci become a well-loved household name, but he also ended up being the subject of partisan attacks in the latter months of the pandemic.
Dr. Fauci’s announcement was not entirely unexpected, according to the New York Times. He has hinted for some time that he was thinking of retiring. In an interview Sunday evening, he said he was “not retiring in the classic sense” but would devote himself to traveling, writing, and encouraging young people to enter government service.
“So long as I’m healthy, which I am, and I’m energetic, which I am, and I’m passionate, which I am, I want to do some things outside of the realm of the federal government,” Dr. Fauci said in the interview, adding that he wanted to use his experience and insight into public health and public service to “hopefully inspire the younger generation.”
President Joe Biden praised Dr. Fauci’s work in a statement Monday, according to CNN News, noting his “unwavering” commitment to the work, as well as his “unparalleled spirit, energy, and scientific integrity.”
“Because of Dr. Fauci’s many contributions to public health, lives here in the United States and around the world have been saved. As he leaves his position in the U.S. Government, I know the American people and the entire world will continue to benefit from Dr. Fauci’s expertise in whatever he does next,” Biden said.
Biden added, “Whether you’ve met him personally or not, he has touched all Americans’ lives with his work. I extend my deepest thanks for his public service. The United States of America is stronger, more resilient, and healthier because of him.”