(The Hill) — President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci clarified on Tuesday that he does not plan to retire, though he has been considering when he will step down from his current government position.
After Politico on Monday published an interview with Fauci, 81, in which he said he did not expect to stay on in his current position by the end of Biden’s current term, a frenzy of media speculation arose around the veteran immunologist’s potential retirement.
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,” Fauci told The Hill contributing editor Steve Clemons.
He explained that he had been asked if he would continue working for the federal government if former President Donald Trump won in the 2024 presidential election. Trump is widely expected to announce his intentions for the 2024 elections later this year.
“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.”
Fauci, who became the face of the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1964.
He has previously spoken on his possible resignation in response to calls for him to step down from his critics, particularly Republican lawmakers critical of his handling of COVID-19. Fauci said his decision to leave his position would not be affected by the criticisms made of him.