Fauci says he plans on retiring when Biden leaves office

The 81-year-old Fauci said he is prepared for attacks if Republicans retake Congress this fall

Updated: July 18, 2022 - 11:16am

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the ubiquitous face of the country's early pandemic response, says he's retiring from public service at the end of President Biden's term.

Fauci has spend over 50 years at the National Institute of Health, including roughly 40 as the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

He told Politico about his plans to retire.

The 81-year-old Fauci is also Biden's chief medical adviser and was a member of the Trump administration's COVID response team. 

When asked whether he was staying out of a sense of obligation as the pandemic continues, Fauci said, "We’re in a pattern now. If somebody says, ‘You’ll leave when we don’t have COVID anymore,’ then I will be 105. I think we’re going to be living with this."

He also said he expects Republican if they take control of the House and-or Senate after November to hold investigative hearings targeting his guidance during the height of the pandemic, which would include that on vaccinations, mask wearing and so-called lockdowns.

"They’re going to try and come after me, anyway," said Fauci, regarding his plans to wait another few years before retiring. "I mean, probably less so if I’m not in the job. I don’t make that a consideration in my career decision."

On possible GOP-led probes, he said: "I don’t think they can say anything about the science. ... If that’s what you want to investigate, be my guest. My telling somebody that it’s important to follow fundamental good public health practices. What are you going to investigate about that?"

Fauci also said he hopes people will remember him for his work on HIV/AIDS in the 1980s rather than for his role responding to the pandemic.

And he expressed confidence in the future of his agency.

"I don’t think there is anything else that I, Tony Fauci, can do except leave behind an institution where I have picked the best people in the country, if not the world, who will continue my vision," Fauci said. "I don’t need to be there for HIV, because we have enough good people that could carry it on."