Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony FauciReuters

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US top infectious disease expert, told CNN on Monday he plans to retire by the end of President Joe Biden’s current term in office.

Fauci, who serves as Biden’s chief medical adviser and has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for decades, said he does not currently have a specific retirement date in mind nor has he started the process of retiring.

“I have said that for a long time,” Fauci said of his plans to leave government before the end of Biden’s current term, which ends in January 2025.

“By the time we get to the end of Biden’s first term, I will very likely (retire),” he added.

Politico published an interview with Fauci on Monday in which he said he did not expect to remain in government until coronavirus is eradicated, because he said, “I think we’re going to be living with this” for years to come.

Fauci told CNN later that though his recent comments on retirement were interpreted as announcing a retirement plan, he just meant “that it is extremely unlikely – in fact, for sure – that I am not going to be here beyond January 2025.”

Fauci, 81, has served more than five decades under seven presidents, advising every president since Ronald Reagan.

In his time as director of the NIAID, Fauci has helped lead the federal public health response to the HIV/AIDS crisis, Ebola, the Zika virus and anthrax scares. He was thrust into the national spotlight at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fauci advised then-President Donald Trump on the fight against COVID-19, but the two had a contentious relationship.

Trump reportedly at one point considered demoting the top doctor after he criticized his policies.

In October of 2020, Trump was heard criticizing Fauci in a call with campaign staffers, suggesting he was an "idiot" and saying, "He's been here for, like, 500 years.”

More recently, however, Fauci praised Trump after he said during a speaking tour that he had received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.