WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – The US government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, announced on Monday that he will retire in January 2025 by the end of President Joe Biden’s current term.
Fauci, 81, was appointed director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1984, and has led studies on HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Zika and the coronavirus. He has been an advisor to seven US Presidents.
In an interview with Politico, Fauci said, “I look forward to leaving an institution where I have chosen the best professionals from across the country, or perhaps the world, who will further my vision.”
Asked Monday by CNN if he plans to retire, Fauci said he doesn’t have a specific date and hasn’t started the process. But he assured that he plans to leave the government by the end of Biden’s current term in January 2025.
“By the time Biden’s first term ends, I probably would have retired,” Fauci said. He added that “it is very unlikely that I will be here after January 2025, in fact, I am sure of it.”
Fauci was the subject of controversy during the presidency of Donald Trump, who claimed the virus would “go away on its own,” promoted bogus cures and jailed scientists who denied him. At that time, Fauci received so many threats that it became necessary for himself and his family to have a bodyguard.
He has testified several times before Congress and clashed with some Republicans, notably Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, over the origins of the virus.
Still, Fauci insisted Monday that his decision to retire had nothing to do with politics.
“It has nothing to do with pressure, all the nonsense you hear about, insults, darts and arrows. It doesn’t affect me at all,” he said.