America’s top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci to quit in December to pursue ‘next chapter’

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top infectious disease expert who has become a household name — and the subject of partisan attack — during the COVID-19 pandemic, has announced he will be leaving the federal government in December. after more than five decades of service.

Dr. Fauci, who is President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and head of NIAID’s immunoregulation laboratory.

He was a leader in the US government’s federal response to HIV and other infectious diseases, long before the COVID pandemic.

“I will leave these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career,” Dr Fauci said in a statement, calling the roles “the honor of a lifetime”.

“I went to this campus, to the labs and to the hospital every day, including most weekends, for 54 years.

“The idea of ​​walking away from it is obviously bittersweet,” Dr. Fauci told The Associated Press.

Dr. Fauci became the face of the government’s response to COVID-19 in early 2020, with frequent appearances on TV news and at daily press conferences with White House officials, including the then president. , Donald Trump.

But as the pandemic worsened, Dr. Fauci fell out of favor with Mr. Trump and his officials when his pleas for continued public caution clashed with the then-president’s desire to return to normal and to promote unproven therapies against the virus.

Dr. Fauci has found himself sidelined by the Trump administration, increasingly sidelined from major decisions about the federal response.

Dr Fauci was sidelined by the Trump administration when his pleas for continued public caution clashed with the former president’s desire to get back to normal.(PA: Patrick Semansky)

However, he continued to speak out publicly in media interviews, advocating social distancing and face coverings in public places ahead of the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

He also faced political attacks and death threats and was granted security duty for his protection.

When Mr. Biden won the White House, he asked Dr. Fauci to remain in his administration in a high position.

The president praised Dr Fauci in a statement, saying: “Whether you have met him personally or not, he has touched the lives of all Americans with his work.

“I send my deepest thanks to him for his public service. The United States of America is stronger, more resilient and healthier because of him.”

Dr Fauci said that despite retiring from federal service, he plans to continue working.

“I want to use what I learned as director of NIAID 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 to future infectious disease threats,” he said.

PA

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