Dr. Anthony Fauci announced on Monday that he will relinquish his various government roles in December and move on to new career pursuits, and President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama both issued statements in which they said that Fauci had “touched” people’s lives.
“Whether you’ve met him personally or not, he has touched all Americans’ lives with his work. I extend my deepest thanks for his public service. The United States of America is stronger, more resilient, and healthier because of him,” Biden said in a statement.
“I will always be grateful that we had a once-in-a-century public health leader to guide us through a once-in-a-century pandemic. Few people have touched more lives than Dr. Fauci – and I’m glad he’s not done yet,” Obama tweeted.
— Barack Obama (@Barack Obama)
Fauci has been a controversial and polarizing public health figure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was a proponent of mandating COVID-19 vaccination. Last year during an interview on MSNBC, Fauci said that while it would be preferable for people to get vaccinated voluntarily, if they are not willing to do so, “sometimes you’ve gotta do things that are unpopular but that clearly supersede individual choices and are directed predominantly at the communal good.”
Fauci tested positive for the illness earlier this year despite having already been fully vaccinated and twice boosted.
He announced on Monday that in December, he will depart from his roles as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, and chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden.
“While I am moving on from my current positions, I am not retiring. After more than 50 years of government service, I plan to pursue the next phase of my career while I still have so much energy and passion for my field,” Fauci said in a statement.