Anthony Fauci announced that he will retire by the end of President Joe Biden’s first term in office in an interview with POLITICO Monday.
“We’re in a pattern now. If somebody says, ‘You’ll leave when we don’t have Covid anymore,’ then I will be 105,” said Fauci, “I think we’re going to be living with this.”
Despite previously teasing retirement last month in an interview with The Independent, Fauci, 81, indicated Monday that he will leave his position as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases by the end of Biden’s first term in January 2025.
In the wide-ranging POLITICO interview, Fauci reflected on his goal to reduce political polarization that the pandemic sparked, even noting that he has an “interesting relationship” with former President Donald Trump.
“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,” Brooklyn native Fauci said of Trump, “I think that we are related to each other in that regard.”
Ahead of debates revolving around mask mandates and school closures that might arise as a result of a Republican-controlled House or Senate next year, Fauci expressed that his decision to retire was not related to any potential conflicts in the future.
As for the pandemic, which continues to kill 300 Americans each day, Fauci says that, “What we have right now, I think we’re almost at a steady state.” Despite Fauci’s previous belief that the vaccine and one booster might be enough to combat the virus, he now says that fast-evolving variants might require an annual booster shot.
“I think, although I don’t know for sure, [that] over the next cycle or so, we’ll be getting towards a once a year boost, like flu,” said Fauci.