The 81-year-old medical advisor to the president did not give a clear answer about retirement plans but teased it may be soon.
Doctor Anthony Fauci told the Independent he has not set a firm date for retirement but the octogenarian says it probably won’t be long from now.
“You know, to be honest with you, I certainly will some time, and I don’t think it’s going to be a very long time from now,” Fauci responded to questions about retirement.
He was appointed Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1984 and has seen his role grow to where he now manages a $6.3 billion per year department. Despite working in federal government since the ’60s, Fauci was relatively unknown outside his specialized areas.
He rose to prominence quickly when COVID-19 numbers scared Americans into paying attention. He appeared almost daily in press briefings conducted by then-President Donald Trump. Fauci often appeared visibly uncomfortable during the joint briefings of media members. He occasionally even seemed embarrassed by the former president’s words and sometimes contradicted Trump during his appearances on cable news shows.
Fauci was soon scorned by conservatives for flip-flopping on advice and overly gloomy, dystopian scenarios about the pandemic’s impact. He initially advised against wearing masks, saying they would have little affect on stopping transmission. He later reversed course, saying his earlier advice was meant to discourage average citizens from buying the bulk of masks, which were more needed by medical care providers on the front line.
When New York City was the epicenter of the country’s death toll from the novel coronavirus, he predicted up to 200,000 American deaths from COVID. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that slightly more than 1 million deaths have been recorded in the U.S. from COVID.
Even so, liberals and progressives enthusiastically embraced the flawed Fauci as the anti-Trump and hung on his every pronouncement as if his words were wrought on tablets of clay.
Conservatives claim his recommendations for lockdown, along with mask and vacccine mandates were un-American, infringing on civil liberties of free people. Many asked what happened to the mantra: “My body, my choice.”
Fauci said that he was not trying to be evasive. He said he is not focused on retirement, “because we’re sort of in the middle of a public health crisis.” He added COVID-19 would need to be under better control before he felt comfortable stepping down.
“It might be sooner than most people think, or it might be later than most people think,” he concluded with a statement clear as mud.
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