America’s chief public health authority plans to retire 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 (NIAID)and Chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, as well as the position of Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden,” announced Dr. Anthony Fauci in a statement released today. “I will be leaving these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career.”
Referring to his time leading the NIAID, “for so many years and through so many scientific and public health challenges,” as, “the honor of a lifetime,” Dr. Fauci was full of praise for the, “countless talented and dedicated people in my own laboratory, at NIAID, at NIH and beyond.”
“To them I express my abiding respect and gratitude,” Dr. Fauci wrote in his farewell. “NIH is served by some of the most talented scientists in the world, and I have no doubt that I am leaving this work in very capable hands.”
“Over the past 38 years as NIAID Director, I have had the enormous privilege of serving under and advising seven Presidents of the United States, beginning with President Ronald Reagan, on newly emerging and re-emerging infectious disease threats including HIV/AIDS, West Nile virus, the anthrax attacks, pandemic influenza, various bird influenza threats, Ebola and Zika, among others, and, of course, most recently the COVID-19 pandemic,” Fauci said in his statement.
“I am particularly proud to have served as the Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden since the very first day of his administration,” Dr. Fauci added.
The respect seems to have been mutual. Before the ink was fully dry on Dr. Fauci’s retirement announcement, President Biden himself issued a lengthy statement in praise of Fauci’s distinguished career and professionalism.
“During my time as Vice President, I worked closely with Dr. Anthony Fauci on the United States’ response to Zika and Ebola,” said U.S. President Joe Biden of Dr. Fauci. “I came to know him as a dedicated public servant, and a steady hand with wisdom and insight honed over decades at the forefront of some of our most dangerous and challenging public health crises.”
“When it came time to build a team to lead our COVID-19 response — in fact, in one of my first calls as President-elect — I immediately asked Dr. Fauci to extend his service as my Chief Medical Advisor to deal with the COVID-19 crisis our nation faced,” Mr. Biden said. “In that role, I’ve been able to call him at any hour of the day for his advice as we’ve tackled this once-in-a-generation pandemic.”
“His commitment to the work is unwavering, and he does it with an unparalleled spirit, energy, and scientific integrity,” President Biden said of Dr. Fauci.
“Dr. Fauci has served under seven Republican and Democratic Presidents during his career, beginning with Ronald Reagan,” President Biden reminded the nation. “He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008 under President George W. Bush.”
“For almost four decades, he has served as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, helping our country navigate health crises ranging from HIV/AIDS to COVID-19,” Biden wrote. “Because of Dr. Fauci’s many contributions to public health, lives here in the United States and around the world have been saved.”
“As he leaves his position in the U.S. Government, I know the American people and the entire world will continue to benefit from Dr. Fauci’s expertise in whatever he does next,” President Joe Biden said. “Whether you’ve met him personally or not, he has touched all Americans’ lives with his work. I extend my deepest thanks for his public service.”
“The United States of America is stronger, more resilient, and healthier because of him,” President Biden asserted.
“While I am moving on from my current positions, I am not retiring,” Dr. Fauci added in his farewell. “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.”
“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,” Fauci added.
“Thanks to the power of science and investments in research and innovation, the world has been able to fight deadly diseases and help save lives around the globe,” Fauci pointed out. “I am proud to have been part of this important work and look forward to helping to continue to do so in the future.”
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)