dr. Anthony S. Fauci, who has repeatedly dismissed speculation he might retire, says he has a time frame in mind for the end of his long government tenure. But those eager to see him may have to wait a bit: His plan is to leave in January 2025, the end of President Biden’s current term.
In recent months, 81-year-old Dr. Fauci, arguably the most famous doctor in America, haunts the will-or-not-he resignation conversation. The issue comes and goes in direct proportion to how many Republicans are attacking the man who has been the chief medical adviser to two presidents during the pandemic.
dr. Fauci, a government scientist for more than 50 years and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has always said he would leave at some point — just not exactly when. And actually still hasn’t: On Monday, he said he would “almost certainly” resign for the next presidential term.
“I won’t stay in this job forever, but I can tell you that I will almost certainly be stepping down for the next term, in other words by the end of Joe Biden’s first term, which is January 2025,” he said in a statement. . an interview, after mentioning that date for an editorial in Politico published Monday.
He insisted that such an end date was hardly news. “I never intended to go beyond Joe Biden’s first term – even if he does get a second term, I have no intention of being there,” he said.
Still, the emergence of even a soft target date was remarkable.
In a September 2021 interview, he said he wasn’t really thinking about when he would step down, but was working on a memoir and couldn’t sign a deal with a publisher until he left government service.
“I’m not totally crazy to think I’m going to do this when I’m 92,” he said. “But right now, when you get caught up in this incredible, intense activity, you don’t really think about retiring, you think about ending this pandemic, you know, by putting it in the rearview mirror, and then maybe a take a deep breath and think about retiring.”
In addition, he added, “As soon as I retire, you’ll see a book.”
In a January interview, he said he would not let Republicans force him to leave him, but that his timetable would be his own. In a short text conversation in May, he was asked to respond to messages that he was about to resign.
“Rumors, rumours, rumours,” he texted back.
Even with the added clarity about the possible timing of his retirement, January 2025 is still a long way off. The bigger question is whether Dr. Fauci will leave before January 2023, when Republicans may control one or both houses of Congress. Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan has already informed Republicans that Dr. Fauci will investigate if they gain control of the House.
Some friends of Dr. Fauci has urged him to step down before that happens. But he has said he is not concerned about any investigation, noting that Republicans, who have accused him of misleading the public about the origin and seriousness of the virus, could investigate him whether or not he is still alive. is working.
“My retirement would have nothing to do with avoiding that,” he said in January, adding, “I can’t think of anything they would want to investigate other than this whole pile of lies they’re spreading.”