He has advised seven presidents since he was appointed the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1984, all while leading research in HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, Ebola, Zika, and the coronavirus. But Dr. Anthony Fauci, still spry and active at 81, says he’ll be leaving his role as President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor by or before January 2025, which would be the end of the President’s current term.
Asked Monday on CNN when he planned to retire, Dr. Fauci said he does not have an exact retirement date in mind and hasn’t started the process. But he was clear about his intentions. “By the time we get to the end of Biden’s first term, I will very likely (retire),” Dr. Fauci said, adding, “it is extremely unlikely — in fact, for sure — that I am not going to be here beyond January 2025.”
Despite his distinguished career, most Americans had never heard Dr. Fauci’s name before the Coronavirus pandemic and its politicization from Donald Trump and his administration that thrust the immunologist into the international spotlight. Dr. Fauci became a hero for the left and a scapegoat for the right, with Trump specifically targeting him and refusing to speak with him towards the end of his own tenure. As Trump kept suggesting the pandemic would “fade away” while promoting unproven treatment methods and vilifying scientists who countered him, Dr. Fauci had to get security protection when he and his family received death threats and harassment from Trump’s base.
🇺🇸 Thank you, Dr. Fauci. Since entering public service, you faithfully served your country, six presidents & a petulant, orange baby who was too emotionally immature to listen to your counsel.
🇺🇸 You, sir, are a true American hero. I wish you many years of nothing but the best. pic.twitter.com/V8CNuM8IbA
— D. Earl Stephens ✍️ (@EarlOfEnough) July 18, 2022
Dr. Fauci also testified repeatedly to Congress about the virus, and he and some Republicans, particularly Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, engaged in heated exchanges over the origins of the virus, but he said on Monday his decision to eventually leave his role was unrelated to politics. “It has nothing to do with pressures, nothing to do with all of the other nonsense that you hear about, all the barbs, the slings and the arrows. That has no influence on me,” Dr. Fauci said.