Dr. Anthony Fauci will no longer be attempting to guide Americans through the COVID-19 pandemic. He has announced that he will step down from his role with the federal government in short order.
Fauci, 81, will leave his position in December, to be exact.
He has served under seven presidents, advising Americans on everything from AIDS to the Swine Flu to COVID. As NPR wrote, Fauci has been ‘both praised and assailed for his tell-it-like-it-is philosophy’. His role was assigned by the media as de facto national physician. He became perhaps the only physician all Americans know by name.
Fauci made regular appearances on many of the major media outlets, trying to explain viruses and diseases — and how they should best be combated — in simple terms. He once unsuccessfully attempted to develop a vaccine for AIDS.
“He becomes the voice of science, he can translate science into English better than anyone, and he can speak to every president, every congressperson, every world leader, and he can speak to patients,” Science magazine Jon Cohan said, via NPR.
Not everyone will miss Fauci
Of course, his tenure came with its harsh critics. During a Donald Trump rally in 2020, a crowd chanted for the soon-to-be-president to ‘Fire Fauci’. Trump said he might, but never did.
“Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election. I appreciate the advice. He’s been wrong on a lot,” Trump said at the time. “He’s a nice man but he’s been wrong on a lot.”
He remained in his job for the duration of Trump’s time in office, eventually becoming President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser.
“I can tell you I take no pleasure at all in being in a situation of contradicting the president,” Fauci said. “So, it was really something that you really feel you couldn’t say something and there wouldn’t be any repercussions. The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know, and what the science is and that’s it. Let the science speak. It is somewhat of a liberating feeling.”
For all his efforts, Fauci was invited to throw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals’ home opener in 2020. It was just outside the strike zone.