Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee hearing to examine the federal response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and newly emerging forms, in Capitol Hill participate. January 11, 2022 in Washington, DC, US.
Greg Nash | Reuters
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leader of the US government’s COVID pandemic response effort, has tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to a statement Wednesday from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci, who has been fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID twice, is experiencing mild symptoms, which he leads.
“Dr. Fauci will remain in isolation and will continue to work from home,” the statement said.
“He hasn’t been in close contact with the president recently. [Joe] Biden or other senior government officials.”
In addition to being the director of NIAID, which is a division of the National Institutes of Health, Fauci, 81, is also Biden’s chief medical advisor.
The NIAID said in its statement that Fauci will follow the COVID-19 guidelines issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and “return to NIH upon medical advice from his doctor and tests negative.”
Infectious disease experts have been the public face of the COVID response since the pandemic began in the United States in March 2020.
Fauci has made him a hero to many for promoting coronavirus mitigation efforts, including social distancing, wearing a mask and getting vaccinated when they become available. But he also criticized others who believed the official responses to Covid were too overwhelming.
Fauci often followed in his role under then-President Donald Trump, who downplayed the risk of COVID when it first broke out in China, and who criticized Fauci at times.
Last month, Fauci told CNN If Trump wins a second term as president in 2024, he will not continue his role as chief medical adviser to the White House.
“If you look at history, what was the reaction during that [Trump] The administration, I think, you know, the best you can say was it wasn’t optimal,” Fauci said in that interview.
“And I think only history will talk about it.”
About 86 million Americans have been infected with Kovid in the last 18 months. More than 1 million people have died from the virus in the US, according to Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.