Anthony Fauci, America’s Great Epidemiologist, Leaves the White House in December


The world-renowned scientist, who has worked with seven US presidents and had a hard run with Trump during Covid-19, will step down at age 81 to focus on his research projects

Anthony Fauci leaves. The White House chief epidemiologist, who became world-famous during the Covid-19 pandemic, confirmed on Monday that he will leave his post in December next year after half a century of public activity in the service of seven United States presidents. However, at the age of 81, the scientist indicates that he will not retire and will open a “new chapter” in which he will continue to collaborate in the field of public health.

The experienced researcher will therefore resign as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the end of this year. He will also no longer be an adviser to the president, Joe Biden, with whom he has a much more friendly relationship than the previous president. Donald Trump has repeatedly lashed out at him for his health guidelines during the coronavirus epidemic, exclaiming, “People are fed up with Fauci and all those idiots,” referring to vaccine advocates and experts warning of the need to take protective measures against Covid-19 .

Fauci repeatedly corrected and contradicted the Republican leader for his “mistakes.” “It gave me no pleasure to see myself in the situation where I contradict the president. You could feel it was something that wouldn’t happen without consequences,” he said in an interview in early 2021, just at the start of Joe Biden’s term. “The idea that you can come here and talk about what you know, what the evidence is, science and knowing that’s all, letting science speak is a liberation,” he added regarding his new phase with the leader Democrat. Calling on Fauci to continue his work as a White House adviser was one of Biden’s first actions as soon as he occupied the Oval Office, thanking him for his dedication yesterday, saying: “Thanks to Dr. Fauci’s many contributions to public health, lives have been saved here in the United States and around the world. He has touched the lives of all Americans with his work.”

The scientist has been the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States since 1984. However, his public health work began much earlier, in 1968, as a physician. His research into HIV placed him in the forefront internationally. An anecdote remains of the start of that pandemic between 1979 and 1980. The administration of the first president he worked for, Ronald Reagan, initially underestimated the extent of the disease. And while those affected and anti-AIDS organizations asked for experimental drugs to be used on them, the scientific community showed its reluctance to adhere to ethical regulations.

By the end of the decade, the situation had become untenable. Fauci, after meeting several activists and even making them his advisors, decided to launch a dual system that would allow patients to receive these treatments while running a controlled process in parallel to determine their effectiveness. The scientist, the father of several therapies against the effects of the virus, later received an award in the next George W. Bush administration and, along with other specialists, launched an ambitious global health program against AIDS with a budget of 100,000 million dollars. With the sponsorship of the US government, it was implanted in 50 countries and saved the lives of 21 million people.

Fauci has Italian ancestry, although he was born in Brooklyn. His parents owned a pharmacy in this New York neighborhood. He was instructed to collect the recipes. He attended Cornell University and received his doctorate in medicine in 1966. He is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, has published articles in the world’s most prestigious scientific journals, and in 2008 Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. . His department, which managed a modest $350 million a year when he arrived, now has a budget of more than $6 billion. Today the center is a major global institution in the field of infectious diseases.

During his tenure, he has dealt with five major medical crises: HIV, Ebola, anthrax, Zika virus and Covid-19. The last one was the hardest of all. During the pandemic, he became the target of Trump’s wrath, who downplayed or directly rejected each of his directives, as well as being at the center of numerous conspiracy plots and Republican darts.

The expert himself admitted to making mistakes at the beginning of the epidemic, such as underestimating the infectivity of asymptomatic people or the importance of masks. However, the rest of his administration has been marked by a “hard line” in an effort to mitigate the effects of a pandemic that has made the United States the most affected country in the world. deeply regrets that the virus has killed more than a million Americans; a sense of helplessness similar to the one he felt in the 1980s when HIV was killing his patients. Paradoxically, Fauci had warned the new Republican administration in 2017 of the likely coming of an epidemic with dire consequences. It was based on the warnings for Zika, Ebola and the study of other outbreaks of unknown infectious diseases in recent decades.

Just a few months ago, in an interview with a US newspaper, the scientist announced his intention to retire when Joe Biden’s term ends in January 2025. However, this Monday he announced that he will not wait until then. Fauci wants to start other research projects and admits that the threats he continues to receive have caused him to change his life

Source: La Verdad


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