Dr. Anthony Fauci, after being director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for quite some time now and who has become the face of the COVID-19 epidemic, hinted on Friday that he may be thinking about stepping down.
President Joe Biden appointed Fauci as the administration’s senior medical adviser, and he delivered his statements amid considerably lower COVID infections and fatalities as the pandemic looks to be diminishing.
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Fauci said in a statement, “I have said that I would stay in what I’m doing until we get out of the pandemic phase, and I think we might be there already,” the country’s top immunologist said on Friday’s episode of the ABC News podcast Start Here.
“If we can stay in this, then we’re at a point where I feel that we are done with this, but I don’t have any plans right now to go away, but you never know,” the director continued.
When asked by ABC’s Brad Mielke if he had considered retirement, Fauci confessed that he had. “I’m sure I have, since I have to do it at some point.” I won’t be able to do this job forever. Unless my coworkers discover me slumped over my desk one day. “That’s something I’d prefer not do,” he continued.
According to the Washington Examiner, Fauci, 81, has served as a public health specialist in various roles for more than 50 years and has counseled every president since Ronald Reagan. He is President Joe Biden’s senior medical adviser and has been a prominent figure since the outbreak began.
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Fauci merely hinted at his retirement, declining to indicate when his stint in the White House and as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will end. His remarks came just after Biden said that Jeff Zients, his COVID-19 response coordinator, will step down and be replaced by Dr. Ashish Jha, head of Brown University’s School of Public Health.
Fauci has received both praise and criticism for becoming the public face of the county’s pandemic response, with the latter coming mostly from Republicans. In fact, Fauci has expressed concern about what may happen if the GOP retakes control of Congress following the November midterm elections.
“It’s the Benghazi hearings all over again,” he said this week to the Washington Post, referring to allegations that Fauci’s agency may have funded risky gain of function research at a Chinese facility in Wuhan, where some fear COVID-19 was developed and then left.
Fauci has received both acclaim and criticism for his role as the public face of the country’s pandemic response, with the latter coming primarily from Republicans. In fact, Fauci has expressed alarm about what may happen if the GOP retakes control of Congress after the midterm elections in November.
Although it is questionable why Fauci has not been removed from his office despite the excessively slow reaction to the covid outbreak and his regulatory posture switching very often from one stance to the other week in and week out.
Aside from these considerations, Fauci may be planning his retirement now, and we shall soon know what happens next. The country looks to be opening up, but without an official announcement from the president, it is difficult to predict when this epidemic will officially cease.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a physician himself who feels the NIAID chairman misled to Congress about his agency’s research funding, is one Republican who has frequently sparred with Fauci and believes he should be punished criminally. Last Monday, Paul submitted legislation that would abolish Fauci’s job entirely and distribute authority among three new directors. Along with Paul, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has promised to probe Fauci and his department.