Anthony Fauci, the US’s head of response to the COVID-19 pandemic, told Politico in a newly published interview that he plans to retire at the end of the current US president’s term.
That is Fauci’s clearest statement about his future, who last month told reporters he plans to “retire before I die.”
Fauci, 81, has been a U.S. government employee for 55 years and has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984. As a result, he has worked under numerous Democratic Party administrations. host and the Republic.
He has become the face of the US government’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, serving on the White House coronavirus task force led by Dr. Deborah Birx under the former President. President Donald Trump, and currently in the Joe Biden administration.
Trump praised Fauci in the early weeks of the pandemic, even tweeting about the health official’s approval rating in June 2020. But by the end of the summer and fall, the Trump administration stopped holding meetings. regular COVID-19 briefings, and Trump often downplays the coronavirus and openly criticizes Fauci’s Safety Priority Messages.
Medal of Freedom recipient
Birx recently described the difficulties in communicating public health advice for a novel coronavirus during those months in his book, The Silent Invasion: The Untold Story of the Trump Administration, Covid-19 and the Next Pandemic Before It’s Too Late.
“Tony and I have become the avatars of science,” Birx wrote. “Both for the White House and for those in the public who disagree with [shutdowns]. Science becomes the enemy, data-driven debates dissolve into threats and expressions of hatred. “
Fauci, in an interview with CBC News in December 2021, lamented the fact that the pandemic has become an insurmountable issue of partisan politics, as jurisdictions and states do Democratic-led areas typically have higher vaccination rates than Republican-led areas.
“Many people who are hesitant not to get vaccinated are doing it really for ideological reasons, which makes no sense to me,” he said.
Called to testify before Congress several times over the course of the pandemic, Fauci has frequently been the target of Republican lawmakers for seeing the failures of the US public health response. In addition, he was also questioned about previous collaborations between American and Chinese scientists.
Fauci became head of NIAID in 1984, when the country was in the midst of an AIDS crisis. He recalls the frustration of caring for dying patients with no treatment options at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) hospital in the early years of the crisis.
In 1990, when anti-AIDS activists flocked to the NIH to protest what they saw as government indifference, Fauci brought them to the table. Those efforts helped lead to an unlikely friendship with author and activist Larry Kramer, who famously criticized the Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush administration’s response to the outbreak.
In 2008, Fauci was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President George W. Bush.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, NIAID laid the groundwork for the development of an mRNA vaccine, in a public-private partnership with Moderna Inc., which built on lessons learned from the respiratory syndrome outbreak. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory. syndrome (MERS).