White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday that he doesn’t plan to retire amid speculation after he announced that he would be stepping down from his position at the end of Joe Biden’s term in office.
Fauci announced to the world in an interview with Poltico on Monday that he would be stepping down. But he’s now making it clear that he won’t be retiring.
“I’m not going to retire. No, no, I’m not going to retire. I may step down from my current position at some time,” Fauci told The Hill. “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.”
“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 continued.
Fauci has been the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, but has gained national recognition as the face of the COVID-19 pandemic response. He began delivering interviews about the pandemic in early 2020, serving as the federal government’s COVID spokesman.
Fauci has become an extremely polarizing figure for his consistently worsening trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. His stance on mask and vaccine mandates has been unchanging and constant, despite increasing evidence that both are less effective than originally claimed and that previously unknown side effects are becoming more present.
In January, the Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test rule, saying that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration exceeded its authority. The rule gave employers the right to discriminate based on vaccination status as well as access to private medical history.
Fauci contracted COVID several weeks ago despite quadruple vaccination, being fully vaccinated and double boosted. Last week, he made headlines after confessing that the vaccines “Don’t protect overly well … against infection.”
“At my age, being vaccinated and boosted, even though it didn’t protect me against infection, I feel confident that it made a major role in protecting me from progressing to severe disease,” the 81-year-old said.
Fauci’s comments came days after a study revealed that natural immunity to COVID is 97% effective for at least 14 months after contracting a case.
“Effectiveness of primary infection against severe, critical, or fatal COVID-19 reinfection was 97.3 percent … irrespective of the variant of primary infection or reinfection, and with no evidence for waning. Similar results were found in sub-group analyses for those ≥50 years of age,” Dr. Laith Abu-Raddad of Weill Cornell Medicine–Qatar and colleagues said after studying long-term natural immunity in unvaccinated people.
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