Fauci: 'Not Going Retire,' Just Leave Federal Govt Dr. Anthony Fauci (Shawn Thew/Getty Images)
By Charles Kim | Tuesday, 19 July 2022 12:35 PM EDT
While National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci may step away from that role when President Joe Biden's first term ends, he is not totally "retiring."
"I'm not going to retire. I may step down from my current position at some time," Fauci told The Hill's contributing editor Steve Clemons during the news outlets "Future of Health Care Summit." "I said a very innocent but true thing. I said whether it's Donald Trump or it's Joe Biden's second term, I don't intend to be in my current position in January of 2025."
During an interview with Politico published Monday, Fauci, 81, said that he picked the "best people" to carry on when he leaves the organization, leading many to speculate that he would fully retire by 2025.
"I don't think there is anything else that I, Tony Fauci, can do except leave behind an institution where I have picked the best people in the country, if not the world, who will continue my vision," he said in the Politico interview. "I don't need to be there for HIV, because we have enough good people that could carry it on."
He clarified the statement during The Hill's forum, saying there are still things he may want to accomplish professionally, just not in the same role he has now.
"What happens between now and then I have not decided, but the one thing I do know is that I have other things that I want to do in a professional way that I want to have the capability — while I still have the energy and the passion to do them," he said.
Fauci, who served as a chief medical adviser to seven presidents since 1984, including Biden and former President Donald Trump during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been simultaneously venerated and demonized for his statements and recommendations during the crisis.
Republicans in Congress have said that they want him investigated in relation to the pandemic response should they retake the majority in the 2022 midterms, while Democrats mostly praise his response.
"I don't think they can say anything about the science," Fauci told Politico about Republicans in Congress calling for probes into his leadership and the COVID-19 response. "If that's what you want to investigate, be my guest. My telling somebody that it's important to follow fundamental good public health practices … what are you going to investigate about that?"