Dr. Anthony Fauci said he plans to leave his post as the nation’s top health official by the end of President Joe Biden’s first term in office, saying the nation is going to have to live with COVID-19.
“It’s for sure that I’m not going to be here in January 2025,” Fauci told Politico.
Fauci insisted he wasn’t announcing his retirement but he’d be working for another 24 years if he were to stay on the job until COVID-19 was completely vanquished.
“If somebody says, ‘You’ll leave when we don’t have COVID anymore,’ then I will be 105,'” Fauci, who is 81, told Politico. “I think we’re going to be living with this.”
Fauci, who is the most recognizable face of the fight against COVID-19, said the pandemic has reached a less volatile stage, although it’s still unclear when or if we will gain the upper hand.
“What we have right now, I think we’re almost at a steady state,” said Fauci, who is Biden’s chief medical adviser.
“I don’t see myself in the job for (more than another) three years,” he added, according to Politico reporter Sarah Owermohle.
After a remarkable five-decade career, Fauci has become a lightning rod for criticism by anti-vaxxers and right-wing supporters of former President Donald Trump, many of whom blame him for promoting vaccines and mask-wearing to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Despite highly publicized clashes, the Brooklyn-born Fauci said he shared a bond with Trump.
“Two guys from New York, different in their opinions and their ideology, but still, two guys who grew up in the same environments of this city,” he said.
Fauci admitted girding for a grueling flood of possible investigations if Republicans retake control of Congress in the midterm elections, but insisted he would not bow to pressure to leave sooner than expected.
“My telling somebody that it’s important to follow fundamental good public health practices,” Fauci said. “What are you going to investigate about that?”