Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease specialist in the country, presented a farewell press briefing to reporters on Tuesday before leaving government at the end of the year, ending years of drama at White House COVID briefings.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre welcomed Fauci to the platform and remarked that the nation is “stronger and healthier because of his leadership.”
In his final attempt to convince Americans of the COVID vaccines’ safety and effectiveness, Fauci urged them to get their COVID and flu injections in order before to the onset of winter.
Get your updated COVID-19 shot as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself, your family, and your community, is my message to you, and it may be the last one I deliver from this platform. Please do this for your own safety and the safety of your family.
Throughout the more than two years of the COVID pandemic, Fauci has been a nearly consistent presence at White House briefings in his capacity as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
He acted as a fact-check for then-President Donald Trump’s theories on the virus in 2020. After Joe Biden was elected president, Fauci stayed on and was given the title of top personal adviser on the epidemic.
After more than five decades of service to the government, Fauci is set to retire next month.
When asked by Karen Travers of ABC News how he wants people to remember his time in public service, Fauci replied that he would let others judge but added that he “gave it all I got for decades.”
Fauci stated, “I believe what I’ve accomplished in my 54 years at the NIH and my 38 years as the head of NIAID, although COVID is really really very important, it is a piece of the overall 40 years that I’ve been doing it.
He continued, “I’ll let other people decide the worth or not of my accomplishments, but what I’d like people to remember about what I’ve done is that every day for all those years, I’ve given it everything I’ve got and I’ve never left anything on the field.
In an interview with ABC Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl for “This Week” in October, Fauci discussed his decision to retire.
He spoke on Tuesday about the need of Americans receiving the bivalent COVID shot with Dr. Ashish Jha, Vice President Biden’s other senior advisor.
In short, we’re doing everything we can over the next six weeks to assist families in receiving their updated COVID vaccinations by the end of the year because it’s the best defense against this winter, according to Jha.
Speaking about the COVID-19 issue, Fauci said he never would have predicted that the US would see “a three-year story of suffering and death and a million Americans losing their lives” at the outset.
He claimed that the pandemic’s ever-evolving varieties, which make it nearly hard to remain ahead of the virus, are its “most worrying” feature.
Fauci responded that they were “working with a changing target” when asked about the inconsistent assertions made by the Trump administration in the early stages of the crisis.
“You have to make it on the basis of the knowledge that you have at that moment when you are dealing with things like reporting and communicating with the press, making suggestions, and setting guidelines,” he said. “However, the reality is that our condition is not static. We are dealing with a fluid circumstance.”
Public officials need to emphasize the dynamic character of these outbreaks more in the future, he said.
Fauci also bemoaned the politics of vaccines and other initiatives to slow the spread of the illness.
As a doctor, Fauci said, “It pains me when I see people in this country, because of the polarization in our country, not getting immunized for reasons that have nothing to do with public health but have to do because of polarization and ideological differences, because I don’t want to see anyone get infected.”
He said, “I don’t want to see anybody end up in the hospital.” “I hope no one passes away from COVID. It doesn’t matter to me if you are a far-right Republican or a far-left Democrat.”
Fauci can still be asked to appear before Congress after quitting the government.
Indicating their desire to look into his role in directing the government’s response to COVID, the Republicans, who now control the House following the midterm elections, have done so.
In addition to all of the insults against him, Fauci has claimed that his family has received death threats.
On Tuesday, Fauci stated that he would fully comply with any oversight hearings held by the incoming Congress.
We can support, defend, and explain anything we’ve stated, so I have nothing to hide, he said. “I have no issue testifying,” he added.