UPDATE: The day after Politico reported Dr. Anthony Fauci planned to retire at the end of Biden’s term, the NIAID director said he will not retire.
“I’m not going to retire. No, no, I’m not going to retire. I may step down from my current position at some time,” Fauci said at The Hill’s “Future of Health Care Summit” on July 19. “I said a very innocent but true thing. I said whether it’s Donald Trump or it’s Joe Biden’s second term, I don’t intend to be in my current position in January of 2025.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci will retire at the end of President Joe Biden’s term.
Fauci currently serves as the president’s chief medical adviser and has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for roughly 38 years. He was appointed to the government’s COVID-19 pandemic task force under President Donald Trump.
“We’re in a pattern now. If somebody says, ‘You’ll leave when we don’t have Covid anymore,’ then I will be 105. I think we’re going to be living with this,” Fauci told Politico during an interview published on July 18.
Fauci told the outlet that his decision to leave federal work after over five decades was not influenced by the possibility that Republicans could take control of the House or Senate after the 2022 midterms.
“They’re going to try and come after me, anyway. I mean, probably less so if I’m not in the job,” the infections disease expert said. “I don’t make that a consideration in my career decision.”
Many Republicans currently campaigning have incorporated anti-mask mandate policies in their platforms and have vowed to undo the remaining COVID-19 restrictions that caused disruption to daily life for the last two years.
Fauci said that, although there are still active COVID-19 cases in the country, the illness is moving to an endemic state comparable to the flu. He also acknowledged that most of the public no longer regards COVID-19 with the same urgency.
“It’s becoming more and more difficult to get people to listen, because even the people who are compliant want this behind them,” Fauci said.
In recent weeks, Fauci has warned the public that the latest subvariant of COVID-19 – BA.5 – is highly infectious and has been linked to 64% of cases in the country. He urged vaccinated people to get a booster shot as vaccines do not “protect overly well” against infection because of the “high degree of transmissibility of this virus.”
“My message to people who seem confused because people who are vaccinated get infected — the answer is if you weren’t vaccinated, the likelihood [is] you would have had [a] more severe course than you did have when you were vaccinated,” Fauci said during an appearance on “Your World.”
Prior to taking over the leadership of the NIAID in 1984, Fauci was recognized in 1981 for his research on the understanding, treatment and prevention of AIDS. He has led the nation’s response to AIDS, Ebola, the Zika virus and anthrax threats over the course of his federal career.
He previously warned he was considering retiring during an interview with ABC New’s Start Here podcast.
“I have said that I would stay in what I’m doing until we get out of the pandemic phase,” Fauci said. “I can’t stay at this job forever. Unless my staff is going to find me slumped over my desk one day. I’d rather not do that.”
The 81-year-old has advised every American president since Ronald Regan. He is expected to receive the largest retirement package in federal history. Between 2018 and 2020, Fauci was paid roughly $1.25 million.
The doctor told Politico, “I don’t think there is anything else that I, Tony Fauci, can do except leave behind an institution where I have picked the best people in the country, if not the world, who will continue my vision.”