Speed Reads

so long

Fauci says he's leaving government but 'not retiring in the classic sense'

Dr. Anthony Fauci is saying goodbye to government. 

The nation's top infectious disease expert has announced he will resign from his roles as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Biden's chief medical adviser this December. 

But the 81-year-old told the Times he's "not retiring in the classic sense." In a statement, Fauci said he plans to use what he has learned to "advance science and public health and to inspire and mentor the next generation of scientific leaders" during this "next phase" of his career.  

Fauci has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984 after joining the National Institutes of Health in 1968. In 2008, George W. Bush award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work to fight AIDS. He entered the national spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic, facing frequent attacks from Republicans over his medical recommendations. 

Speaking with The Washington Post, Fauci said he decided to step aside because he didn't "want to be here so long that I get to the point where I lose a step." He also told the Times he thought about leaving at the end of Trump's term but stayed for another year "thinking that at the end of the year, it would be the end of COVID," which turned out to not be the case. "Now it's my second year here," he added, "and I just realized that there are things that I want to do."

Biden on Monday thanked Fauci for his years of service, adding, "The United States of America is stronger, more resilient, and healthier because of him."