Federal medical czar Anthony Fauci is considering retirement, as potential changes to the composition of Congress stand to complicate things for him.
“I have said that I would stay in what I’m doing until we get out of the pandemic phase, and I think we might be there already,” Fauci told ABC’s Brad Mielke in a Friday podcast, according to the Post Millennial.
“If we can stay in this, then we’re at a point where I feel that we are done with this, but I don’t have any plans right now to go away, but you never know.”
Fauci, 81, was more direct when Mielke asked him if he’d thought about retiring.
“I certainly have, because I have to do it sometime. I can’t stay at this job forever, unless my staff find me slumped over at my desk one day. I’d rather not do that.”
Fauci has publicly expressed concern about his fate if Republicans regain control of Congress in the November elections.
Numerous Republicans have promised investigations into Fauci’s public health proclamations during the coronavirus pandemic.
Fauci has said that congressional oversight of his National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases would amount to “Benghazi hearings all over again.”
“They’ll try to beat me up in public, and there’ll be nothing there,” Fauci predicted this week.
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Fauci broke in a sharply partisan direction, claiming that Republicans’ “distortion of reality is stunning.”
He bemoaned that his employees at NIAID now spend half their time processing Freedom of Information Act requests.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Rep. Chip Roy are among the Republican legislators who say they’ll push for special investigations into Fauci’s response to the pandemic.
“If we take over the Senate next year, I’ll be chairman of the Health Committee, and I pledge to use the subpoena power to get every last record about the origin of the virus, about Fauci,” Paul promised in December, according to The Washington Post.
Paul has also proposed legislation to eliminate Fauci’s federal position and split the NIAID’s responsibility between three different federal agencies.
Fauci is easily the highest-compensated employee of the federal government, earning $456,028 in 2021.
He is slated to receive a record-setting federal retirement package, as well, according to Forbes.
Fauci’s public profile has shrunk in the early months of 2022, with high levels of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus failing to translate to surges in deaths.