By Jack Phillips
White House COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci revealed that after about five decades in the federal government, he’s planning on leaving his position by the end of President Joe Biden’s term.
“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,” Fauci, 81, told Politico in an interview published on Monday morning in confirming he’s retiring at the end of Biden’s term in office, which is Jan. 21, 2025.
Fauci has been the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984. During the COVID-19, he became a household name when he became the face of the federal government’s COVID-19 pandemic response, often generating criticism from Republicans and conservatives about his generally dire predictions about the pandemic.
Of his relationship with former President Donald Trump, Fauci said that “we developed an interesting relationship … two guys from New York, different in their opinions and their ideology, but still, two guys who grew up in the same environments of this city. I think that we are related to each other in that regard.”
And if Republicans win back either the House or Senate in 2022, Fauci noted that he will likely be investigated by GOP lawmakers. But he claimed that regarding those investigations, “I don’t make that a consideration in my career decision.”
In the Politico interview, Fauci continued to defend his public recommendations, including school closures, mask-wearing, vaccination regimes, and lockdowns.
“My telling somebody that it’s important to follow fundamental good public health practices … what are you going to investigate about that?” he said.
However, Fauci has faced public questions from Republicans in Congress about his agency having given funding to third-party groups to carry out research in China. COVID-19, caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, emerged in Wuhan, China, and a significant number of U.S. intelligence officials last year released a report suggesting the virus may be tied to the top-level Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Last month, amid questions from Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Fauci admitted that he is not able to halt federal funding from being doled out to researchers in China.
“The NIH [National Institutes of Health] is still funding research in China, at least $8 million since 2020,” Marshall said. “In the Intelligence Community’s 2022 Annual Threat Assessment, the Chinese Communist Party is presented as one of the top threats to the United States, along with Russia, Iran, Syria, and North Korea. To my knowledge, only China is receiving U.S. research dollars.”
Later, he asked Fauci, “When will you as director of NIAID stop funding research in China?”
Federal health agencies, Fauci said in response, “had very productive peer-reviewed highly regarded research projects with our Chinese colleagues that have led to some major advances in biomedical research.”
“We obviously need to be careful and make sure that when we do fund them we have the proper peer review and we go through all the established guidelines,” he also said.
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