Fauci Delivers Final Briefing

'I’ve never left anything on the field,' he says in look back at decades in public service
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2022 8:45 PM CST
Fauci Delivers Final Briefing
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Dr. Anthony Fauci delivered the final White House briefing of his long career on Tuesday, and his message was a familiar one. "Please, for your own safety, for that of your family, get your updated COVID-19 shot as soon as you're eligible to protect yourself, your family and your community," Fauci said, per Politico. The 81-year-old, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984 and the chief White House medical adviser, plans to retire from government service next month. He has served under every president since Ronald Reagan. In his remarks Tuesday, he reflected on the US response to COVID-19, saying he never thought the pandemic would go on for so long, CNBC reports.

"I did not imagine and I don’t think any of my colleagues imagined that we would see a three-year saga of suffering and death and a million Americans losing their lives, Fauci said. He said the most difficult parts to deal with had been the evolving variants—and the way public health became politicized, with some people rejecting vaccines for ideological reasons. "As a physician, it pains me because I don’t want to see anybody get infected, I don’t want to see anybody hospitalized and I don’t want to see anybody die from COVID," he said, per Reuters. "Whether you’re a far-right Republican or a far-left Democrat, it doesn’t make any difference to me."

Fauci, who was heavily criticized by Repubicans during the pandemic, said he "absolutely will cooperate fully and testify" if House Republicans launch investigations of the COVID response when they take control of the chamber in January. He said he will leave it to other people to judge the value of his accomplishments in public service. Fauci said that what he wants people to remember is that "every day for all of those years, I've given it everything that I have and I’ve never left anything on the field. So if they want to remember me—whether they judge, rightly or wrongly, what I’ve done—I gave it all I got for many decades." (Read more Anthony Fauci stories.)

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