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Dr. Anthony Fauci Is Stepping Down From Public-Well being Posts

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s main infectious illness official, will step down from heading the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses (NIAID) in December, he mentioned in a statement launched on Aug. 22. Fauci, 81, mentioned he would additionally depart his position as chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden.

However Fauci, who has served as NIAID director since 1984—underneath seven presidents—mentioned he isn’t retiring. “I plan to pursue the following section of my profession whereas I nonetheless have a lot vitality and keenness for my discipline,” he mentioned.

Fauci first made his mark on public well being by way of his work combating HIV/AIDS. He has turned down a number of provides to move the Nationwide Institutes of Well being (NIH), explaining every time his want to stay at NIAID—which is a part of the NIH—till he felt extra progress had been made in conquering HIV/AIDS. Throughout his time at NIAID, HIV has modified from a demise sentence right into a persistent illness, thanks partially to his efforts in collaborating with AIDS activists and charting new paths for testing and approving anti-HIV medicine. Fauci was additionally instrumental in making certain that HIV therapies reached underserved components of the world that wanted the medicine most by contributing to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Reduction (PEPFAR) underneath President George Bush.

Learn Extra: Anthony Fauci Is Finally Getting to Do His Job

The drug pathways he pioneered for HIV helped to hurry up trials of latest COVID-19 vaccines and antiviral therapies in the course of the pandemic. However Fauci has additionally confronted politically motivated ire for his work. President Donald Trump—who actively undermined the scientific process, attacked Fauci’s expertise and character, and flirted with firing him at the behest of his supporters—made him a goal inside months of the pandemic beginning in 2020. Since then, Fauci has endured demise threats towards him and his household and has used one thing he by no means had earlier than: private safety. But Fauci endured, saying he by no means considered leaving his position advising the federal government on COVID-19. For a public-facing infectious illness knowledgeable who’s devoted his life to public well being, “if there may be one problem in your life you can’t stroll away from, it’s that the majority impactful pandemic within the final 102 years,” he told TIME in 2021.

In a statement, Biden highlighted Fauci’s dedication and breadth of data of infectious ailments. “I’ve been in a position to name him at any hour of the day for his recommendation as we’ve tackled this once-in-a-generation pandemic,” Biden mentioned. “The USA of America is stronger, extra resilient, and more healthy due to him.”

Fauci didn’t specify how he would proceed his work in public well being, however mentioned he’s centered on the nation’s future. “I need to use what I’ve realized as NIAID Director to proceed to advance science and public well being and to encourage and mentor the following era of scientific leaders as they assist put together the world to face future infectious illness threats,” he mentioned.

Extra Should-Learn Tales From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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