Eminent American immunologist Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s top adviser on covid-19 and become the face of the fight against the pandemic in the United States, announced Monday that he will leave his post in December.

He also reported that on that date he will step down from his position as director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which he held for 38 years.

“I am not retiring,” Fauci said in a statement.

This 81-year-old doctor, who had previously advanced his plans to leave at the end of Biden’s current term, announced that he will do so in December to start “a new chapter” in his career.

Biden immediately signaled his “deepest gratitude” to Fauci in a White House statement.

“Thanks to Dr. Fauci’s many contributions to public health, lives have been saved here in the United States and around the world,” the president said, adding that the country “is stronger, more resilient and healthier because of him.” “.

Fauci has led America’s response to infectious disease outbreaks since the 1980s, from HIV/AIDS to Covid-19, and has served under seven presidents, beginning with Ronald Reagan.

“It has been the honor of my life to lead NIAID,” he wrote.

When COVID-19 first spread globally from China in 2020, Fauci became a trusted source of credible information, reassuring the public with his calm and professional demeanor during his frequent media appearances.

But his honest views on America’s early failures to tackle the virus brought Fauci into conflict with former President Donald Trump, and made him a hated figure in right-wing circles and among anti-vaccines.

Fauci is currently living under security protection after his family received death threats and harassment.

Biden recalled Monday that Fauci was one of the first people he called up for his team after winning the 2020 election. “I’ve been able to call him at any time of day for advice on dealing with the pandemic,” the president said.

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