After decades of public health service, including mentoring seven US presidents, Dr. Anthony Fauci has revealed his plans to retire.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and chief medical adviser to the president said he would step down from many of his roles at the end of President Joe Biden’s current term, Politico reported on Monday.
A source confirmed to HuffPost that he has announced his plans not to extend his NIAID term, which ends in early 2025.
“I don’t think I, Tony Fauci, can do anything more than leave behind an institution where I’ve chosen the best people in the country, who will continue my vision, if not the world,” he said. told the outlet. ,
Fauci also confirmed the news to NBC but said he does not have an exact retirement date, only keeping 2025 as a place marker.
The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment.
Fauci, 81, has been the director of the NIAID since 1984, and has oversaw the national response to the coronavirus pandemic since the virus emerged in late 2019. In his interview, the infectious disease researcher acknowledged that the pandemic is not over, and that there is more work to do, but that it is time to take it into someone else’s hands.
“We’re in a pattern now. If someone says, ‘When we don’t have COVID anymore, you leave,’ then I’ll be 105. I think we’re gonna live with it,” he said in a highly contagious And said of the ever-changing virus.
The US currently has an average of 126,000 new COVID-19 cases, a day after plateauing in May, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But it is not his work that is influencing the country’s coronavirus response that Fauci said he wants his legacy to be. Instead it is his decades of work in infectious disease research fighting HIV/AIDS and advising presidents on how to reduce its spread.
He called the establishment of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief possibly “the most influential work in my career” during President George W. Bush’s tenure.
According to the State Department, that program, touted as the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease, saved 21 million lives through global efforts to control the spread of HIV. Is.
Fauci told Politico that an HIV vaccine is still several years away, but he doesn’t need to be there to see its fruits, “because we have enough good people who can push it.”