Dr. Anthony Fauci, US President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, clarified on Tuesday that he does not plan to retire, a day after he said he plans to retire by the end of Biden’s current term in office.
Speaking at The Hill’s “Future of Health Care Summit,” Fauci said definitively that he is not 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,” he clarified.
Fauci said that he had been asked if he would continue working for the federal government if former President Trump won in the 2024 presidential election.
“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,” Fauci said.
“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 added.
Fauci, 81, has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. He has served 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.