Fauci to retire before the end of Biden’s term
Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said on Monday that he plans to retire by the end of Biden’s term in office.
“By the time we get to the end of the Biden administration term, I feel it would be time for me to step down from this position,” Fauci told the Washington Post Monday.
Politico was first to report on Fauci’s plans.
“We’re in a pattern now. If somebody says, ‘You’ll leave when we don’t have COVID anymore,’ then I will be 105,” Fauci told Politico. “I think we’re going to be living with this.”
Fauci said the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), where he is the director, had “the best people in the country” to carry out his vision.
And he said the possibility of more attacks coming his way if Republicans take control of Congress was not a factor in his decision.
When asked about the possibility of quitting during an interview last year, Fauci said he would “unequivocally” not quit in response to criticisms of him.
“So because there are a lot of people who have ideas about conspiracies and changing minds and flip-flopping, that’s not a reason to step down. Not at all,” he said.
The Brooklyn-born immunologist has served as director of the NIAID since 1984, most notably working on HIV-AIDS research before becoming a leading health authority during the COVID-19 pandemic, earning both praise and derision from the public and lawmakers.
Fauci has advised seven presidents on public health issues. His working relationship with former President Trump was famously fraught during the COVID-19 pandemic, as Fauci often had to counter unfounded claims made by the president.
Fauci told Politico he and Trump developed “an interesting relationship.”
“Two guys from New York, different in their opinions and their ideology, but still, two guys who grew up in the same environments of this city. I think that we are related to each other in that regard,” he said.
Appearing on CNN after the Politico article was published, Fauci clarified that he acknowledged he could not stay in his position forever.
“What happened is that I gave an interview with a reporter, and they said, ‘You know, you’re going to have to step down some time, you can’t be in this job forever.’ I said, ‘You’re absolutely right, I can’t be in this job forever.’ And I don’t anticipate I’ll be in this job at the end of the first term of President Biden, which is January 2025,” Fauci told CNN’s Kate Bolduan.
“Somehow that got interpreted that it’s announcing my retirement. I just said that it is extremely unlikely, in fact, for sure that I’m not going to be here beyond January 2025,” he added.
“So sometime between now and January 2025, you can guarantee I’ll step down.”
Fauci also told Bolduan that there are other things he wanted to do in his career and that he still had the “energy and passion” to continue working on other projects. He indicated that he would not want to cease working altogether after leaving government work.
The Hill has reached out to the NIAID for further comment.
Updated at 12:58 p.m.