© 2022 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

After decades of public service, Anthony Fauci will step down in December

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The scientist who became the face of America's COVID pandemic response is stepping down. In 38 years as the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci led the country through two public health crises - AIDS and COVID-19.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

His early admirers included the late Republican President George H.W. Bush, who called Fauci a hero during a presidential debate in 1988.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

GEORGE H W BUSH: Dr. Fauci, probably never heard of him, he's a very fine research - top doctor at National Institutes of Health, working hard doing something about research on this disease of AIDS.

MARTIN: Fauci's leadership in the AIDS fight made him a public figure. And he became a household name in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANTHONY FAUCI: It's the old metaphor that - the Wayne Gretzky approach, you know? You skate not to where the puck is but to where the puck is going to be. If we don't do very serious mitigation now, we're going to be weeks behind.

INSKEEP: He spoke a lot in public. And his words often clashed with those of former President Donald Trump, as well as the sentiments of Trump's supporters, who went so far as to call for Fauci's firing during campaign rallies.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting) Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci.

DONALD TRUMP: Don't tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election, please.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: I appreciate the advice. I appreciate the advice. Now, he's been wrong on a lot.

MARTIN: Fauci, by contrast, resisted criticizing Trump. And he stayed on the job to become the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, president No. 7 he had served during his tenure.

INSKEEP: Now, Jessica Malaty Rivera, a senior adviser at the Pandemic Prevention Institute, says the fact that Fauci stayed on the job into his 80s is telling.

JESSICA MALATY RIVERA: I think the fact that he continued to work in his age is admirable and inspiring because it's not a sexy job, per se. And the fact that he kept doing it meant that he was motivated by things greater than himself. He was motivated by public health. He was motivated by science and innovation and ending a global emergency.

MARTIN: Anthony Fauci leaves his job in government in December but says he will not retire. At 81, he'll move in to what he calls the next phase of his career - writing a memoir and mentoring another generation of scientists.

(SOUNDBITE OF UNDERWORLD'S "CAPA'S LAST TRANSMISSION HOME") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.