Dr. Anthony Fauci announced on Monday that he will be stepping down as the president’s top medical adviser and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in December.
“I will be leaving these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career,” said Fauci, who has earned the ire of many Americans for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, his discussions of vaccines, lockdowns, and the origins of the pandemic, and more.
“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,” he said. “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 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director said that over the past 38 years that he has spent as the director of the agency, he has advised seven U.S. presidents 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.”
“I am particularly proud to have served as the Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden since the very first day of his administration,” he continued.
Fauci emphasized that he is “not retiring,” promising to use his knowledge to “advance science and public health.”
“After more than 50 years of government service, 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.”
“Over the coming months, I will continue to put my full effort, passion and commitment into my current responsibilities, as well as help prepare the Institute for a leadership transition,” he said. “NIH is served by some of the most talented scientists in the world, and I have no doubt that I am leaving this work in very capable hands.”
President Joe Biden praised Fauci in a statement shortly after the NIAID director’s announcement, calling Fauci a “dedicated public servant, and a steady hand 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,” he said. “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.”
“Whether you’ve met him personally or not, he has touched all Americans’ lives with his work,” Biden said. “I extend my deepest thanks for his public service. The United States of America is stronger, more resilient, and healthier because of him.”