‘We’re in a pattern now. If somebody says, ‘You’ll leave when we don’t have Covid anymore,’ then I will be 105. I think we’re going to be living with this’
Dr Anthony Fauci, the veteran infectious disease researcher who has led the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease for over three decades, will retire before President Joe Biden’s four-year term expires in January 2025.
“We’re in a pattern now. If somebody says, ‘You’ll leave when we don’t have Covid anymore,’ then I will be 105. I think we’re going to be living with this,” he said in an interview with Politico, during which he denied that his retirement plans are meant to coincide with a likely GOP takeover of at least one half of the US Congress.
The 81-year-old physician, who also serves as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, is one of the most-cited researchers in the history of modern medicine and is widely respected for his work on the HIV/Aids epidemic. But his work battling the Covid-19 pandemic made him a hate object among conservatives, especially after former president Donald Trump made a habit of mocking recommendations issued by Dr Fauci and other public health experts.
Many Republicans have expressed a desire to use the investigative powers of Congress to investigate Dr Fauci, who is the subject of a wide range of conspiracy theories relating to the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Covid-19 vaccines that have significantly decreased the numbers of Americans who’ve been hospitalised or killed by the coronavirus since the height of the pandemic.
“They’re going to try and come after me, anyway. I mean, probably less so if I’m not in the job,” he said. “I don’t make that a consideration in my career decision”.