(The Hill) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said in an interview published on Monday that he plans to retire by the end of Biden’s term in office.
“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.
He also said the possibility of more attacks coming his way as 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 responded 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 spoke during the interview.
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 coronavirus pandemic, as Fauci often had to counter unfounded claims made by the president.
Fauci told Politico that 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.