Fauci To Step Down at End of Year
Dr. Anthony Fauci announced Aug. 22 that he will step down from his multiple positions in December. Fauci—director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation and chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden—has served NIH for 54 years.
“Today marks the end of an era,” said Dr. Lawrence Tabak, performing the duties of the NIH director, in a statement. “Tony’s departure will cause a tectonic shift in the modern history of the National Institutes of Health.”
The nation’s top infectious disease expert who became the public face of the Covid pandemic, Fauci has dedicated his life’s work to understanding and treating complex diseases ranging from HIV to asthma. He has served as NIAID director for 38 years, advising 7 U.S. presidents and reassuring and guiding the public during outbreaks of infectious diseases.
Biden said in a statement, “During my time as vice president, I worked closely with Dr. Fauci on the United States’ response to Zika and Ebola. 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.”
One of Biden’s first calls as president-elect was to Fauci, asking him to serve as chief medical advisor. “In that role,” said Biden, “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.”
“Without exception, he is always guided by the science,” Tabak said. “For Tony, it’s personal. He works tirelessly on behalf of all patients, often at great personal expense, and always bringing his Brooklyn tenacity to the fight. I know of no one more dedicated than Tony to the mission of NIH and the health of the American people.”
“It has been the honor of a lifetime,” said Fauci, “to have led the NIAID, an extraordinary institution, for so many years and through so many scientific and public health challenges. 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.”
Biden noted, “Because of Dr. Fauci’s many contributions to public health, lives here in the United States and around the world have been saved…Whether you’ve met him personally or not, he has touched all Americans’ lives with his work. The United States of America is stronger, more resilient and healthier because of him.”
Tabak concluded, “I look forward to seeing what Tony will do next. I have no doubt that he will continue to have an enormous impact on the world.”