Anthony Fauci, Still Reviled on Right, Is Stepping Down

Doctor, 81, has led his government agency for nearly 40 years
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2022 10:37 AM CDT
Anthony Fauci, Still Reviled on Right, Is Stepping Down
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Anthony Fauci has hinted his retirement was coming soon, and on Monday he gave it a date: The longtime scientific adviser to American presidents will retire from his government post in December. "So long as I'm healthy, which I am, and I'm energetic, which I am, and I'm passionate, which I am, I want to do some things outside of the realm of the federal government," the 81-year-old tells the New York Times. Fauci has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, and in that capacity has advised every president since Ronald Reagan.

While Fauci previously entered the public spotlight in a big way in the 1980s, when AIDS activists accused the Reagan administration of doing too little to fight the disease, it was his famous clashes with former President Donald Trump during the pandemic that simultaneously made him a hero on the left and reviled on the right. "I had to oppose a president of the United States," he tells the Washington Post, referring to disputes over COVID policies such as lockdowns. "That is not the easiest thing in the world to do, but I did it." The Post notes that if Republicans gain control of Congress in November, Fauci critics, including GOP Sen. Rand Paul and GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, have said they will pursue investigations against him. (Read more Anthony Fauci stories.)

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