Dr. Anthony Fauci, who quickly became the face — and, for many, the voice of reason — of the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, announced earlier this year that he would leave government service in December.

Fauci, who has served as chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden and seven other presidents, as well as the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for the past 38 years, said he is ready to “pursue the next chapter” of his career.

“While I am moving on from my current positions, I am not retiring. After more than 50 years of government service, I plan to pursue the next phase of my career while I still have so much energy and passion for my field,” he said in a statement. “I want to use what I have learned as NIAID Director to continue to advance science and public health and to inspire and mentor the next generation of scientific leaders as they help prepare the world to face future infectious disease threats.”

Fauci’s career at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases began in the 1980s under the administration of Ronald Reagan. In 2008, President George W. Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Fauci helped America navigate the coronavirus pandemic despite public clashes with President Donald Trump. He also proved instrumental in several other health crises, including HIV/AIDS.

“During my time as vice president, I worked closely with Dr. Anthony Fauci on the United States’ response to Zika and Ebola,” Biden said in a statement. “I came to know him as a dedicated public servant, and a steady hand with wisdom and insight honed over decades at the forefront of some of our most dangerous and challenging public health crises.”

Stacy M. Brown is an NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent.

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