Editor’s note: This is a developing story. Please return for updates.
Anthony Fauci, MD, advisor to seven presidents and a key figure in the US fight against the coronavirus pandemic, announced Monday that he will step down in December.
“I am announcing today that I will be stepping down from the positions of Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, as well as the position of chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden,” Fauci said in a statement. “I will be leaving these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career.”
But Fauci, who has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for nearly four decades, says he will not be retiring.
“After more than 50 years of government service, I plan to pursue the next phase of my career while I still have so much energy and passion for my field,” Fauci said. “I want to use what I have learned as NIAID director 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 future infectious disease threats.”
For the first year of the pandemic, Fauci was perhaps the most public face of the federal response. He participated in near daily news conferences from the White House under then-President Donald Trump.
But Fauci’s insistence that science dictates the fight against the coronavirus and its disease, COVID-19, often put him at odds with Trump. That helped make Fauci a target of many conservatives and as well as Republican office holders.
His public profile under President Joe Biden has been much lower, but his words continue to have the power to influence public behavior.
“Today marks the end of an era,” National Institutes of Health Director Lawrence Tabak, DDS, said in a statement. Fauci “has dedicated his life’s work to advancing knowledge about the causes of complex diseases ranging from HIV to asthma, rarely satisfied with anything less than a cure. For Tony, it’s personal. He works tirelessly on behalf of all patients, often at great personal expense, and always bringing his Brooklyn tenacity to the fight.”