On Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci announced that he’s stepping down as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Further, Fauci will end his time as President Biden’s chief medical advisor at the end of 2022.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to have led the NIAID, an extraordinary institution, for so many years and through so many scientific and public health challenges,” Fauci said in a statement. “I am very proud of our many accomplishments. I have worked with — and learned from — countless talented and dedicated people in my own laboratory, at NIAID, at NIH and beyond. To them I express my abiding respect and gratitude.”
The 81-year-old from Brooklyn might be stepping away from his current duties at the end of the year. However, Dr. Anthony Fauci made sure to point out that, “I am not retiring.”
“I plan to pursue the next phase of my career while I still have so much energy and passion for my field,” he said. “I want to use what I have learned as NIAID Director to continue to advance science and public health and to inspire and mentor the next generation of scientific leaders as they help prepare the world to face future infectious disease threats.”
Fauci has served as the director of the NIAID for four decades. He became the face of the COVID-19 response here in America as every nation across the globe navigated the newfound disease. In 2020, he served under former President Donald Trump. At times, the pair clashed over the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic.
Dr. Anthony Fauci Served and Advised Seven U.S. Presidents
While Dr. Anthony Fauci served under both Trump and Biden’s administrations, he’s advised seven presidents in his lifetime. In today’s statement, he called it an “enormous privilege” to serve each dating back to President Ronald Reagan.
“Over the past 38 years as NIAID Director, I have had the enormous privilege of serving under and advising seven presidents of the United States, beginning with President Ronald Reagan, on newly emerging and re-emerging infectious disease threats including HIV/AIDS, West Nile virus, the anthrax attacks, pandemic influenza, various bird influenza threats, Ebola and Zika, among others, and, of course, most recently the COVID-19 pandemic,” Fauci said. “I am particularly proud to have served as the Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden since the very first day of his administration.”
President Biden also shared a statement following Fauci’s announcement that he’s stepping down. Biden praised Fauci calling him “a dedicated public servant” with “wisdom and insight honed over decades at the forefront of some of our most dangerous and challenging public health crises.”
“When it came time to build a team to lead our COVID-19 response — in fact, in one of my first calls as President-elect — I immediately asked Dr. Fauci to extend his service as my Chief Medical Advisor to deal with the COVID-19 crisis our nation faced,” Biden said in a statement. “In that role, I’ve been able to call him at any hour of the day for his advice as we’ve tackled this once-in-a-generation pandemic. His commitment to the work is unwavering, and he does it with an 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,” Biden added.