dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, attends a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing to review the federal response to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and emerging variants at Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., January 11, 2022.
Greg Nash | Reuters
dr Anthony Fauci, the leader of the US government’s efforts to respond to the Covid pandemic, has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Fauci, who is fully vaccinated against Covid and boosted twice, is suffering from mild symptoms, according to a statement Wednesday from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which he heads.
“Dr. Fauci will isolate and continue to work from home,” the statement said. “He hasn’t been in close contact with the President lately [Joe] Biden or other senior government officials.”
In addition to being the director of NIAID, a division of the National Institutes of Health, Fauci is Biden’s senior medical adviser.
NIAID said in its statement that Fauci will be following the Covid-19 guidelines issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will “follow the medical advice of his doctor and return to the NIH if he tests negative.”
The infectious disease expert has been the public face of the Covid response since the pandemic began in earnest in the United States in March 2020.
Fauci’s promotion of efforts to contain the coronavirus, including social distancing, wearing masks and, when they became available, vaccinations, made him a hero to many. But he also drew criticism from others who believed the official responses to Covid were too insistent.
Fauci had often chafed in his role under then-President Donald Trump, who had significantly downplayed the risk of Covid when it first broke out in China and at times criticized Fauci.
Last month, Fauci told CNN he would not continue in his role as senior White House medical adviser if Trump won a second term as president in 2024.
“If you look at the history of the reaction during the [Trump] Administration, I think you know, at best you could say it wasn’t optimal,” Fauci said in that interview.
“And I think only history will speak for itself about that.”
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.