Dr Anthony Fauci, United States top infectious disease expert who became a household name during the COVID-19 pandemic, announced that he will depart from the federal government in December. In service for more than five decades, the chief medical advisor of US President Joe Biden has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation. He was a leader in the federal response to HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases even before the Coronavirus hit.
Fauci & COVID: Wuhan mystery & leaked emails
‘He has touched all Americans’ lives with his work,”- Biden said in a few words for Dr Fauci, who made headlines not just in the US daily but across the world post-March 2020. The role of NIAID, headed by Dr Fauci, was questioned for connection with labs in Wuhan that allegedly carried out research on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Multiple reports had claimed that Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers had been conducting experiments since 2016 which involved RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as the closest sample to the virus.
Rekindling the debate on the origin of the Coronavirus pandemic and the underlying COVID-19 virus, noted science writer and author Nicholas Wade in May 2021, shared his take on whether the NIAID which has been helmed by Dr Anthony Fauci since 1984, funded research into the Coronavirus at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Wade’s self-published two scientific articles re-ignited the discourse on whether the deadly virus was developed in a lab or whether it was naturally transmitted to humans from bats, as claimed thus far.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV, Wade claimed that the NIAID possibly had knowledge of what was being researched in the Wuhan Institute of Virology as it had funded two separate tranches of grants to further research of Coronavirus. The Wuhan lab has long been thought to be a potential place of origin for the virus, if not the wet market where the other ‘natural transfer’ theory pegs it first infected humans.
Months thereafter, to everyone’s surprise, several media outlets in the US released thousands of emails sent and received by Fauci when the Coronavirus infection was just on the rise. In one such email, an executive at EcoHealth which funded research at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology into the COVID-19 origin thanked Dr. Fauci for publicly stating that scientific evidence supports a ‘natural origin’ for the Coronavirus and not a lab leak.
Fauci became a passionate advocate of mask-wearing, also pressing the public to engage in all kinds of social distancing measures. When criticized for supporting lockdowns, mask mandates, and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts, he has claimed that he only offered guidance, and did not personally authorize the relevant government orders.
“Fauci’s resignation will not prevent a full-throated investigation into the origins of the pandemic,” Paul wrote on Twitter Monday. “He will be asked to testify under oath regarding any discussions he participated in concerning the lab leak.”
“In January, a GOP Congress should hold Fauci fully accountable for his dishonesty, corruption, abuse of power, and multiple lies under oath,” chimed in Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has also accused Fauci of lying before Congress. “Never in our nation’s history has one arrogant bureaucrat destroyed more people’s lives.”
Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) greeted Fauci’s retirement by saying “good riddance.” “While it’s convenient that his retirement will come just one month before House Republicans can launch a full investigation into the origins of COVID-19,” he said, “it’s past time to get political ideology out of immunology. The path to restoring the public’s trust in our government’s public health guidance begins the day he retires.”
“While I’m sure your retirement will comprise maskless baseball games, more photo shoots, a Netflix documentary, & probably a contributorship on CNN — retirement from the govt’ does NOT mean you’ll get off scot-free,” Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) tweeted. “The @HouseGOP has A LOT of questions, be ready to answer them.”
“Dr. Fauci is conveniently resigning from his position in December before House Republicans have an opportunity to hold him accountable for destroying our country over these past three years,” Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs wrote. “This guy is a coward.”
If everything goes fine in future, even after he exits federal employment, Fauci will still earn a large salary, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. He is currently the highest-paid federal official, making more money than the president, military generals, and even Cabinet officials. His salary in 2020 was $434,000, though he likely made more in 2021 and 2022. According to Open the Books, an oversight and transparency organization, Fauci will be entitled to a pension that yields roughly 80 percent of his salary, so at least $350,000 per year.