Dr. Anthony Fauci reportedly set to retire after more than five decades in federal service
Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical officer to the president of the United States, said he will retire by the end of President Biden’s term, according to a new report published Monday.
Politico reported Monday that Fauci said he will retire by the end of Biden’s term following more than five decades of federal service under seven different presidential administrations.
The 81-year-old has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, Reuters reported. He became the face of the American government’s policies regarding efforts to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
Fox News Digital reached out to the NIAID for added comment Monday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci responds to questions by Sen. Rand Paul during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on July 20, 2021. (J. Scott Applewhite/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
Fauci has worked for over 50 years in the American public health sector, advising every president since Ronald Reagan. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Fauci was a leading figure on both Donald Trump and Biden’s coronavirus response teams.
Fauci was a regular guest on cable news, primetime television, late-night shows and podcasts offering his medical advice throughout the pandemic.
Over time, he became a politically divisive figure on the left and right regarding issues such as masks and lockdown policies.
Anthony Fauci attends a meeting of the White House COVID-19 Response Team at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on Jan. 4, 2022. (Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Famously, he sparred with Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in committee hearings over the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and whether his department within the National Institute of Health funded gain-of-function research.
In his new interview with Politico at his office on the National Institutes of Health Campus in Bethesda, Maryland, Fauci admitted that the country – and the world – will be living with coronavirus for quite some time.
“We’re in a pattern now. If somebody says, ‘You’ll leave when we don’t have COVID anymore,’ then I will be 105. I think we’re going to be living with this,” he said, saying the goal would be to get to a once-a-year COVID-19 vaccination, like the flu, while recognizing that efforts so far have been stymied by the emergence of new variants sometimes becoming dominant in a matter of weeks.
“What we have right now, I think we’re almost at a steady state,” he said.
Fauci also responded to calls from Republicans in Congress to investigate his leadership and COVID-19 response should the GOP regain the majority in one or both houses come this year’s midterm elections.
Dr. Anthony Fauci (Getty Images)
“They’re going to try and come after me, anyway. I mean, probably less so if I’m not in the job,” Fauci said. “I don’t make that a consideration in my career decision.”
“I don’t think they can say anything about the science,” he added. “If that’s what you want to investigate, be my guest. My telling somebody that it’s important to follow fundamental good public health practices – what are you going to investigate about that?”
The Biden administration vaccine-or-test requirements and mask mandates have been struck down by federal courts, and many Republicans are running on platforms this year opposing lockdown measures.
Fauci also commented on his notoriously contentious relationship with Trump.
“We developed an interesting relationship,” Fauci, who was born in Brooklyn, told Politico. “Two guys from New York, different in their opinions and their ideology, but still, two guys who grew up in the same environments of this city. I think that we are related to each other in that regard.”
Fauci became the director of the NIAID in 1984 at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in America.
The majority of his research over the past four decades has sought to diagnose, treat and prevent HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, Ebola, malaria, and other infectious diseases. Fauci advised President George W. Bush to sign the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), funding $90 billion for HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and research worldwide. In 2002, Bush awarded Fauci the Presidential Medal of Freedom.