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Dr Anthony Fauci to leave federal government in December

Dr Anthony Fauci to leave federal government in December

America's top infectious diseases expert is looking to pursue the 'next chapter' of his career

Dr Anthony Fauci is set to bow out from federal government later this year after serving nearly four decades as America's top infectious diseases expert.

In a statement shared today, 22 August, the 81-year-old revealed he'll be stepping down as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and as chief medical officer to US President Joe Biden.

"I will be leaving these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career," he said.

"It has been the honour of a lifetime to have led the NIAID, an extraordinary institution, for so many years and through so many scientific and public health challenges.

Dr Anthony Fauci delivering a talk on the AIDS epidemic in 1985.
Creative Commons

"I am very proud of our many accomplishments. I have worked with – and learned from – countless talented and dedicated people in my own laboratory, at NIAID, at NIH and beyond. To them I express my abiding respect and gratitude."

Fauci has acted as a public health adviser to every US president since Ronald Reagan when he assisted the country's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

During his 38 years as NIAID director, he advised on a variety of newly emerging and re-emerging infectious disease threats including West Nile virus, the anthrax attacks, pandemic influenza, various bird influenza threats, Ebola and Zika.

More recently he became a key figure in the US response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fauci added in his statement: "While I am moving on from my current positions, I am not retiring.

"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."

Responding to the news, Biden recalled: "I immediately asked Dr Fauci to extend his service as my chief medical adviser to deal with the COVID-19 crisis our nation faced. 

"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. 

Joe Biden extended his 'deepest thanks' to Fauci for his service.
Creative Commons

"His commitment to the work is unwavering, and he does it with an unparalleled spirit, energy, and scientific integrity."

The POTUS continued: "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 US Government, I know the American people and the entire world will continue to benefit from Dr Fauci’s expertise in whatever he does next."

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Featured Image Credit: Xinhua/Alamy Stock Photo/AC NewsPhoto/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: US News, Politics, Joe Biden, Health