On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci dismissed rumors that he planned to retire soon and said he wanted to see the U.S. free from the COVID-19 pandemic before he retires.
During his interview on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, host George Stephanopoulos asked Dr. Fauci if he plans to get “some rest” if the nation is near the end of the years-long pandemic.
“I’m not so sure, George,” said Fauci. “I want to make sure we’re really out of this before I really seriously consider doing anything different. We’re still in this.”
Fauci went on to say there was still a “long way to go” before Americans were out of the danger of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think we got clearly going in the right direction. I hope we stay that way,” he said.
The 81-year-old director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases had started rumors of his potential retirement on Saturday.
“I have said that I would stay in what I’m doing until we get out of the pandemic phase, and I think we might be there already,” Fauci said on ABC’s “Start Here” podcast. The comment led to speculations of his retirement.
During Sunday’s appearance on ABC’s This Week, Dr. Fauci added that the nation might see another surge in COVID-19 cases. However, he noted that he didn’t expect lockdown-style restrictions to return. Fauci encouraged Americans to be “flexible” if cases increase due to the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron.
“I don’t see us going back into any more really very strict kinds of restrictions. But you always have to have the flexibility,” Fauci said.
Fauci has served as the director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. He has served under six U.S. Presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan.
In his position as the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Fauci has worked on the government’s federal responses to AIDS, Ebola, the Zika virus, and multiple anthrax events. In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor for his work by former President George W. Bush.