Fauci plans to step down as NIAID chief in December

Anthony Fauci announced Monday he will step down as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in December after more than three decades as the nation’s top infectious disease official. He said he plans to “pursue the next chapter” of his career.

Fauci, who has been advising presidents on infectious diseases since the Reagan administration, will also relinquish his role as chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to have led the NIAID, an extraordinary institution, for so many years and through so many scientific and public health challenges,” Fauci said in a statement released Monday.

In a separate statement, Biden lauded Fauci’s more than 50-year career in government service. “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,” Biden said.

Fauci, who served under seven presidents and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008 under President George W. Bush, was thrust into the nation’s spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He became a regular media and television fixture, briefing Americans on the threat of the disease, and was occasionally at odds with former President Donald Trump.

Prior to the pandemic, Fauci was well-known for his critical contributions to HIV/AIDS research and helped shape national and international response around the infectious disease.

“I will be sorry to see Dr. Fauci depart in December, but I wish him all the best in his future endeavors and look forward to witnessing his next chapter,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

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